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All Those Times You Didn’t Cheat

If you believe the popular commentators on infidelity, unfaithfulness is an affliction that can happen to anyone anywhere anytime. All of our relationships are under the constant assault of sparkly new acquaintances and old Facebook crushes. And the only bulwark against the novel pussy/dick menace is a $399 “affair-proof” your marriage webinar.

Affairs, we’re told, “just happen.” (Which is weird. Because if cheating is so random and ubiquitous and ecumenical, how come only the RIC can save us?)

Except they don’t…. for the other half of us. Some freaky chumps actually manage to keep it in their pants, and go about their existence without Ashley Madison profiles.

And it’s not like you didn’t get the opportunity, you sexy chumps.

What? Me? Opportunity? I’m here wiping baby vomit out of my hair. What are you talking about? 

You know, that time someone complimented your sweater and you said, “I must have you now. Right now. Upon this Xerox copier.”

Oh, right. That didn’t happen. Because you downloaded the RIC ebook! No? What was it then? You respect your partner? It wasn’t on your radar? Ick?

Today’s Fun Friday challenge is to tell CN about all those missed cheating opportunities. The pussy buffet that got away. The office crush that just sort of withered in your imagination and died. The thoughts you didn’t have.

TGIF!

 

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • I quit a job after 3 months after there were vibes between a coworker and I. They were mutual vibes. But I didn’t even want the temptation. I knew I wouldn’t act on it. But I didn’t want him to act on it and I’d be in even deeper. I got my first uti a few months before that job from my cheating husband. I’m glad I have a clean conscience so when I left his ass 11 months later when the cheating was discovered I was able to throw it in his face and how restraint is possible.

    • I’m not wired that way. Found lot’s of people attractive, had little crushes but nothing even remotely acted on. I thought I had a pretty awesome guy and was lucky…not so much. Even when I knew what he was doing… you don’t cheat…you divorce.

      • You’re right Spoon,
        Cheating is never justified! If your vows are already broken by a fuckwit, you breaking them will NOT have the same impact as they had on you. Also, if you’re just using someone else for revenge sex, what does that make you?
        Good Call!

    • I had several opportunities to be with other men. One was a millionaire and very interested, he kept trying but because I have values and integrity and we were both married I shut that down immediately. I also turned down coffee invites, dinner invites, and just evenings out. My husband worked out of town a lot and I was often so lonely. After his affair began he disconnected and I blamed myself. If I asked if there was someone else it was met with “how could you think something so horrible of me”, or “of course not, how could you even think that”? For years my body screamed and I just kept stuffing it down and putting myself into my home and children. Now, knowing most of my marriage was a lie I don’t know if I would have changed being honest, not cheating and keeping my morals. I don’t think so. I do feel I wasted years as his wife and wish I had a choice in my own life. I was never told that he wanted sex, tests, sexts, messages and talks with his ex girlfriend/body buddy who was married as well. Of course she loves her husband more than life and if I ever said anything I would ruin her marriage. Dumb bitch, I told her the only person responsible for ruining her marriage was herself and she should google narcissism. She told me time with my husband was just an extension of the relationship they always had an was strictly about sex and I should get over it. What a price she is!

      • It was just about her having sex with your husband, so what’s the problem?

        I think she already knew she was a sociopath.

    • I ran into my high school boyfriend in ROME of all places! He and I spent the entire day together. He was my first love (a LOT of firsts). It was too late for him to drive back to Naples (plus we had an awesome day) so he stayed in my hotel room. SAME ROOM. SAME BED. NOTHING HAPPENED. He was married and so was I. Never even crossed our minds. Guess it IS possible that there can be people with integrity, morals, ethics, character. Go figure.

  • One thought I didn’t have was that sparkledick’s bad mood was because he was cheating.

    Another thought I dos not have was that my supervisors’ “interest” in me was to help my career.

    Oh well, no more bad moods and no more “generous interest”, just respect.

    • I missed this too. As well as his dislike for certain coworkers spouses because he was really into his coworker.

    • I just wish I’d worked out some of his random walking in the door rages were most likely things not going well on the schmoopie front. What a Chump. Also wish I’d realised the reason he turned into such a god awful too much liquid lip drying (for me) kisser about 2 years before I dumped him was because that’s how kisses worked with #cattleclass OW (trolly dolly who got fired cos she’s very very overweight). Heard about the change in kissing style as a red flag for a cheat just recently on the radio and it all fell into place!

      Boy I’m glad she gets to enjoy those dry lips (and the halitosis that came with all that toxic cheating drool). He kept her on the side for nearly a year after we split up having lined up a better main supply before we split up (although that one didn’t know we were still together for the first 6 months of it). She’s only become main supply (and soliciting “bicurious” guys with my ex on swingers sites – I still had the password because that’s what he got me to do whenever I caught him cheating) when the other one contacted me to connect some dots that weren’t connecting (like how much I was expecting my toxic porn and meth addicted ex to have the kids ie all the time. I was staunchly 50/50 custody no breaking that boundary except for all the times I had them on his shift, happily).

      Life’s so much better without those triangles, rages, halitosis, toxic saliva and dry lips I tell ya.

      • Oh yeah; changing sex style. My ex came home from TDY and had a totally different position when in the Missionary Position. I’d been trying for months to convince him to take his weight on his elbows, and all of a sudden–Taa Dah! Weight now on his elbows.

        I told him to thank his girlfriend for finally getting him to do that and he vehemently denied having a girlfriend. Oh, right…

    • Yes the bad moods! Chumpy me gave him the excuse that he might be depressed and sent him off to the doctor and therapy while saying I would support him through it, even his lack of sex drive!!!!!
      After 4 years of this he left, then I found out about the 4 year affair.

      • I was that same Chump. Depression, anxiety, crying, low sex drive. I supported him emotionally and financially. 3 days after our 14th wedding Anniversary I saw a picture on social media he posted with an unknown rug under his feet. I asked him about who’s house he was visiting, thinking it was a friend. He blew up at me and I suggested we separate since he seemed unhappy. He moved in with a “friend” from work. Which I discovered was a 19 year old, morbidly obese, frizzy haired, snaggle tooth, g.f. (He’s 42 and has a daughter from a previous marriage that is the same age). I Chumpily took him back after 3 months, blaming it all on the depression. Meanwhile, he signed up for Tinder and continued to see her. I caught him over her house and asked him to leave. Again, trying to remain friends. He was coming over , kissing me, telling me he loves me, then when I found out he proposed to her, I dumped a bunch of his crap in her parents front lawn…did I mention he lives with her and her parents who are 10 years older than him because they feel sorry for him because he told them I beat him 😄. I get random emails saying he will come over to talk and give me closure, he is sorry for everything and paying penance and yet it’s been 2 months and I haven’t heard a peep. So I filled for adultery, which he doesn’t want.

  • I could have gone out with a “rich” man, his family rented out 12 houses, even his mum said he was rich, but I put my kids first. He’s one of those types that are too close to his mum. His mum hated me, she didn’t like”white” people, unless their rich. She thought my ex was wonderful, I bet that was for a reason! 12 houses- 3 million, once saw her throwing wine bottles in their shop. her husband got done by the tax dept, not paying that. If she was my mother in law, I couldn’t cope with her.

  • I do markets stalls (graphic designer, have own product). Thousands of business cards have gone into the world with my email and phone number on them. In my stall, I have to be nicey nicey to all comers. Occasionally I have had follow throughs who would “like to have a coffee”. Very complimentary. (Much more so than husband/cheater of over two decades ever was!)

    But I was married. Never even HALF a thought. Committed. Loyal. Dumb chump stuff like that.

    One of them, v persistent, flirty by email … but interesting. A single father. I was actually flattered but also bemused – which I played as amused. Shared with them husband, son half overheard and asked what I was laughing about. Exhole explained: “Mum met a man who wants her to be his girlfriend so she will look after his kids”.

    Makes sense now. That’s what a wife appliance does, right? She’s not actually interesting or attractive herself. Belittle, belittle, belittle.

  • An ex reached out to me in October 2016 asking “What happened to us?” after I’d unfriended him ages before and had blocked another friend request. He was married to a perfectly lovely woman at the time and had a little daughter, and I had been seeing Ben for six months at that point, so I just ignored the message, but didn’t think of any ill intent, just that people drift apart and have different lives when they leave each other.

    I found out a few months ago from the Facebook Memories tool that Navy Boy is now married to a different girl and has a second daughter. I guess he was fishing around when he was checking in on me and got a bite from someone else!

    • In the aftermath of DDay, I discovered that my ex had attempted to fish an old girlfriend on FB as well. They were messaging each other about innocent subjects; they dated briefly in college, and she dumped him. When I got together with him, I never got the vibe from her that she was still interested. So, I read their messages, and he kept attempting to draw her out– saying that he “missed her” and the same sort of message you saw: “Do you ever wonder what might have been?”

      Amazingly, she also found the strength not to cheat! It can be done! She didn’t respond to a single one of his fishing comments. She’d reply to the innocent subjects and never acknowledge his attempts to get something romantic restarted. That happened not too long before he found his fellow cheater on Ashley Madison, so he must have been trying to do whatever he could to have an affair since he wasn’t having any luck up until he met the OW.

      • My EX denies it even to this day, but he did lots of fishing on Facebook, reconnecting with old classmates, work colleagues, etc. I have no idea how many because he kept it all hidden from me, but several years before the official DDay, I caught him messaging someone and lying to me about it. I viewed it as an emotional affair and a betrayal (why cover up an “innocent” friendship?). The incident happened when one of our children was having a crisis. Now I realize that the timing of these two events was NOT a coincidence. His child NEEDED him and he couldn’t handle the pressure, so he went looking for kibbles elsewhere instead of supporting his family. I do not think I will EVER forgive him for this…..and of course this betrayal (even if it was “just” an emotional affair which is probably yet another lie) just set in my motion more and more betrayal, gas lighting, lying, abuse, etc.

        I wish I had left then, but I was so stressed and worn out by my child’s struggle and worked so hard to preserve an “intact” family that was already being devalued & discarded.

    • “I guess he was fishing around when he was checking in on me and got a bite from someone else!”

      Yes, I’ve also used the term “fishing” to describe my XH’s predatory behavior. Five times I saw/caught my X’s written dialog on Facebook and email to five different prey/”friends”. I saw the, “I miss you so much!” to a former female co-worker. I saw, “I was thinking about you at work today. There! I said it!” to a former ELEMENTARY SCHOOL female friend that he hadn’t see in over 30 years. I read the flirtatious commentary about another elementary school friends appearance. I read the flirtatious back and forth emails to the whore I finally caught him out on a date with. After D-day I said something like, “I can only imagine how many more women there are out there you’ve been messaging and seeing behind my back!” He said all the messages I found “were the only one’s” Hahahahahaha! How stupid does he think I am?

      Fishing is exactly right! He put out the bait to see who would take a bite. He keeps track of womens birthdays and sends out innocent Happy Birthday emails to all the women he’s interested in. It took me awhile post D-day to figure that out. How could someone think they were being preyed on with an innocent birthday wish? But he was. And some took the bait and went out for coffee or lunch with him. He is always on the prowl for a new side dish(es). As far as I know, only one of the five of the correspondences that I read took the bait and that is his current whore dujour. All the other four women didn’t respond to his fishing comments in the messenger/email comments.

  • This isn’t quite an answer to the question posed – but I didn’t really have to resist temptation because I was just SO WORN DOWN by him that I wasn’t even looking. Man? What’s a man, kinda thing! I found my ex repugnant after so many years of physical, mental and financial abuse. Had asked for a divorce many times but he always said no and wore me down constantly by not allowing me to sleep and using threats and physical violence too, so I stayed, for lack of the energy to get out. In the meantime, he was accusing me of having an affair and “meeting my lover every Saturday” because I took too long to the do the grocery shopping! Say what! So at first I started to hurry up but then just thought “fuck him”, so I took my time to do my running around. Next time he accused me of having an affair I told him it was with the fishmonger – that way he wouldn’t notice the smell! It got me a beating but it was so worth it! I eventually got my divorce when he met the fat-ankled cow and ran off into Schmoopie heaven – or not, as it eventually turned out!

    • I don’t know how you even survived all that. You are mighty as hell!
      I’m sure Fat Ankle Schmoops didn’t realize at first what a favour she was doing you by taking him off your hands, but I bet she found out.

      • I don’t know how I survived it either Chumperella but it’s all way behind me now and life is seriously great. Oddly enough, latest Schmoopie is posting some very “cryptic” stuff on FB about “having the strength to fly with your own wings” (to her 266 FB friends and 7 mutual friends – yeah, I know, I’m a stalker – but it tickles me) and the Twat posted a “change of status” only visible to certain people – both done on the same day. Might be something up in Schmoopieville. As for me, I live alone and love it but my lovely Dutchman is still in my life, although not as a partner, and I am so, so happy with my dick-free life!

    • Attie-

      I am sorry you ever had to go through this. I can empathize with the feeling of complete emotional exhaustion. I can also relate to losing all interest in going out independently, even for things like grocery shopping as cheater would undoubtedly accuse me of meeting up with someone. Even at work, (server at fine dining vegan restaurant/wine bar) he’d demand that I text or call him to check in at some point during my shift. Which was never more than four hours long. If I didn’t call him before I left work, he would leave the porch light off so I’d have to stumble my way to the front door.
      Yeah. Once this is all behind me, I won’t he dating anytime soon.

      • Ooohhh, your saying about leaving the porch light off reminds me of how the Twat would get home before me and my son and if he was in “one of those moods”, he would leave his key in the door so I couldn’t get in. And when I took all the keys to a door at the back of the house so he couldn’t “accidentally leave his key in that door”, he took a different key – not to that specific door – and jammed it in the lock any way. They are sick bastards. Good luck to you Island Chump, you can do this and you’ll see how great life is without their constant, toxic presence!

  • So, I had a tiny crush on a guy in a professional certification class I took for a few months when Fuckup and I had been together for about 9 years. I think the guy had a tiny crush on me too. Nothing inappropriate (looks, words, actions) ever happened, but we tended to work together on “pair” projects, and we always had a great time–and also pushed each other to do better work with good natured competition.

    At the end of the course, the whole class went out for dinner and drinks. When time came to say goodbye, I gave the guy a hug and said something like “This was great! I learned so much from you and I’m glad we got to work together!” He hugged me back, maybe a tick longer than socially necessary, and said something like, “Same for me. You gave me so many good ideas. Couldn’t you tell that my presentations got so much better because of you?”

    Then we smiled at each other, left the restaurant (separately), and went on with our lives.

    • 1)
      The work guy who asked me to lunch one day and was a known flirt. I asked “Do you mean a work lunch or, you know (air quotes with fingers) lunch?” He said (air quotes with fingers) “Lunch, of course.” I said “I’m married.” He said “So? I am too. So what?”

      2)
      The guy who approached me during my wreckonciliation with the cowardly liar and said “You and I should have a good time now that you’re available.” I said “Dude, I’m not available, I’m still married.” He said “Hey, he got his on the side, why not you?”

      3)
      The lady who said it doesn’t count as cheating on your husband if you’re with another woman.

      …and countless other similar BS things along this line people have said to me over the years.

      And yet somehow I’ve easily managed to refrain from ever cheating on a partner. Fancy that.

      (This may nest under one of y’all’s comments unintentionally — this site is acting weird today. Apologies in advance if it does.)

  • During the last year of my Dad’s life, we talked about an awful lot of personal things (on both sides). During the 10-month Hell that was co-habitation with my cheater while the court process played out, we were having a beer together and I put it to him: “Did you ever cheat on Mum?”

    He reply: “Never. I just could never do something like that to your mother.”

    Beautiful in its simplicity, and exactly in line with my own mindset regarding my own marriage. I never cheated because I just could never do something like that to the person I committed to.

    I like to think he was pleased that his example was followed.

    • AND …

      Long before I ever met the Kunty Kibbler, the same rationale applied when a full court press was put on me to be the OM (and when I say the effort was brazen, I mean it was BRAZEN.)

      Even as an overcharged 20-something who would bed pretty much anyone who expressed interest, I just could not do something like that when marriage is involved.

      • I think because I felt this unspoken pressure from XH (he once told me that he would never be able to forgive cheating…) I literally would avoid talking to men in my office (a large law firm, full of them) unless it was just quick small talk, so as to never even put myself in a situation where something could even be suggested.

        • Waiting, after he cheated he stated that he couldn’t imagine what he’d do if the shoe was on the other foot so to speak.

          And I so agree, it’s nit how I’m wired.

          Opportunities did present themselves to me at conferences. Hey, nothing to lose for a married guy; it’s gross and I was shocked.

          For the Limited I believe the pickings were the last drunk ho sitting at the bar at closing.

    • This. I just could not imagine causing that type of pain to my spouse. I didn’t want to be the source of that pain in their lives. I also thought that if I felt that way about someone else that I owed my partner the honesty of telling th em that I was letting go.
      Unfortunately it was not a reciprocal feeling. My stbx admitted that he never even thought of me while he was chasing his high…. 😕

      • They don’t think of us. I read once that it’s not a lack of respect for us. It’s like we don’t exist to them. They can’t respect what they don’t acknowledge. That really resonated with me. I can’t imagine compartmentalizing my life such that my spouse “didn’t exist” under certain circumstances. If I were an emergency responder, I could see putting aside my personal life to get my job done, but acting like my spouse doesn’t exist so that I can sleep with someone else? That’s messed up.

        • You’re right.

          My then husband got very drunk after dday and despite having been very weepy, sad sausagey and verbally remorseful up until that point…the booze helped the truth come out. He said, “I don’t owe you anything”.

          They are in it for themselves. We’re all just pawns.

        • They don’t think of us. I read once that it’s not a lack of respect for us. It’s like we don’t exist to them. They can’t respect what they don’t acknowledge.

          THIS IS EXACTLY IT!
          You just summed up my whole marriage with ex-cheater Mr. iPorn/Hooker man.

        • My X called the OW “wifey” just 2 months after they got together. When he already had a wife for the past 10 years. You’re right – we don’t exist to them. They’re broken people and there’s nothing that anyone or anything can do about it.

      • Mandie

        Same with mine…. he said that he never felt bad, he never even thought about me…. when I started suspecting something ( porn- naive newlywed wife) and we were having discussions regarding cheating etc and how would that effect me…. well, somehow he still didn’t care…

    • I once had a dream that I cheated. This was so long ago but I still remember it. The dream felt so real and I felt so bad and guilty for doing it and I remember waking up and just being so grateful that it was only a dream.

      I always quickly shut down flirtations or inappropriate interactions with other men. Not just because I am a loyal person, but because I respected my husband and never wanted him to look inferior to another person. Like have another guy think he was superior because I was flirting with him despite having a husband.

      I actually paid tons of money from a therapist through one of the reconciliation sites. She told me that for spouses having an affair it eventually becomes like coming off of a drug or down from a high and they feel immense guilt and remorse once they come down. I told her if I knew it was an affair I would never forgive or get back with him.

      I never found out about an affair or other woman. Only later discovered financial infidelity, a hidden alcohol addiction, and I’m pretty sure a pain killer addiction (700 a week arm withdrawals from bad neighborhoods – in addition to 100 dollar withdrawals per day). But I relate to chump lady more then any other site. Because of the deflection and gaslighting that went with all the lies. And maybe he’s just a better hider of an affair and I’m a poorer sleuth then all of you out there.

      • J, I had a dream where a woman I know was about to kiss me, and I stopped her and reminded her I was married. I felt a little guilty when I woke up.

      • Having lived the nightmare of thousand dollars cash withdrawal, I have one word for you: prostitutes. Even drugs aren’t that expensive! You don’t need to find the incriminating text, believe me it exists/existed. Your dream was a projection because deep, deep, down in your soul you felt it.

      • Years before D-day I had a dream I was making out with a former high school boyfriend. I woke up with guilt and was happy it was a dream too.

        It amazes me to this day that my XH has never felt any guilt at all for all the cheating (EA’s and PA’s) he did behind my back. That’s why I believe he doesn’t have a conscience. That kind of crap would eat me up if I ever even had an EA!

      • I’ve had that dream too. Same reaction when I woke up. There’s that moment when you are only half awake and you wonder if it was real and then you are fully awake and relieved it was just a dream. It was similar to the someone you care about died and then you wake up dreams. I never had urges to cheat when I was actually awake.

  • Well, I absolutely did NOT have any attraction to a sweet young man I used to work with. He most certainly wasn’t reputed to have a huge crush on me and didn’t look at me like an adoring puppy dog, taking the slightest opportunity to talk to me. We never, despite living in the same neighborhood and using the same gym, had a single opportunity to see each other outside work.
    I mean, that must all be true because otherwise, how on earth did I resist the “happening” of extramarital sex? I did wonder why I was seemingly impervious to the famed Get-It-On Tractor Beam that pulls two helpless people’s genitals together in these situations. Maybe I have super powers- a pussy that is stronger than the pulling power of Get-It-On, which is said to have a 22 hopower engine.
    Just call me Super Puss!

  • I have a man- friend who is very nice and sweet and who now has a fiancé who he adores, but at the time, he was single and lonely and while I thought very highly of him, he’s not my type. I was talking about what a lousy wife I was and that my husband was such a good man (after he’d been fucking around, unbeknownst to me) and this man told me he thought I was awesome and that he’d marry me if he could.

    So what do I do? I tell my husband and then kept my distance from my friend.

    A couple of years later, about a month before he told me he was having an affair, I confessed to him that during our small town’s annual wingding, at a street dance, I grabbed/ caressed another man’s ass. I was tipsy and having a good time, but that’s no excuse. (I still haven’t had the nerve to apologize for sexually assaulting him. He’s always with his wife when I see him and I’m just unsure how to go about it discreetly. I don’t know if he told her and I don’t want to make it worse than it already is. Ugh. I just stay away from him. It was three years ago) a couple days afterward, I told my husband. I said I didn’t know what came over me and that I was sorry and that I would do whatever he wanted me to do.

    He just shrugged and said, “Whatever.” That was all. I was confused that he didn’t seem to care at all.

    • Interesting.
      When I was about 26 years old I went to a drinking work party and the boss’ much younger nephew came on to me and I kissed him. Only.
      I was filled with great remorse and guilt and I confided in STBXH who acted so outraged and upset. Over the top.
      Later Much Later I found out he was on like number four hobag back then fucking around since we had been married.
      He was acting that’s all.

  • Mutual vibes with a married male coworker stifled by spending lunch talking about my upcoming marriage to the cheater, whom I will now officially name “The Omnivore” — I am sure you guys can figure that one out.

    I apparently have a particularly screwed up picker–crushed on a guy at one place that was gay and I sorta thought so, though he did weirdly flirt with me, too.

    I did not sneak off with the woman who hit on me at a wedding I was at with the Omnivore, which was not that hard, because I am not a lesbian (although I am always flattered to be hit on by anyone).

    Apparently there’s an androgyny theme here, but I’ve always been cis-gendered straight and described as a nurturing mom-type by my guy friends. So I think I just attract people who didn’t get love from their parents for some reason, and that includes a LOT of gay people. (Sadly)

    But really, I did not have that many opportunities to even notice guys who might be interested in me because I was busy actually taking care of our kid, spending time on family and friends, and working my butt off in my job! I totally do not even get this world of hookups–who has time for multiple partners and what are these mysterious sexytime bat signals that seem to be bouncing about?

    • Oh hey have kept his creepy uncles at arms length–though they’ve given me a lot of salacious looks in the past. Bonus of casting off the Omnivore? Kicking a lot of his creepy male relatives to the curb.

  • About six weeks out from D-Day I spoke with a friend. I was such an emotional wreck that I really just blubbered, but it was the first time that I told the whole truth about my decades long pick-me dance. She started me down the road to healing.
    She encouraged me to talk with another friend who offered to arrange for her husband (with a Master’s in family theraphy and lifetime of working with behavior disordered individuals) to talk with me.
    I went to my pastor who had already sided with my ex. Said pastor believed the ex was just wounded because he was married to a strong woman (me) and diagnosed him with a simple mid-life crisis. He had given me a RIC book to read and made me promise not to see a lawyer or make any decisions about the relationship for a year. Fuck that stupid pastor.
    I mentioned through my tears and snot that I’d be speaking with the man who had actual skills to help me. The pastor didn’t like it. At that moment he said perhaps the most stupid words ever spoken to a doormat with a life-time of pick-me dance experience.
    “It’s my job to warn you,” he started.
    “Women like you are prone to weakness during this time.”
    “You are more likely to have an affair.”
    Then he told me not to enter the friend’s house unless the friend was with me the entire time her husband listened to me and helped me. That’s right. We all know that rejected, overweight, middle-aged, crying, snot-machine chumps just can’t wait to jump the bones of a good friend’s husband.
    OMG, I can’t tell you how many times I have wanted to punch the pastor in the face after his stupid comments over the past few years. I have controlled myself, though I’m starting to think I shouldn’t have.

    I’ve never cheated. Never even got comfortable around another man until after the divorce. 24 years of life dedicated to the cheater, because I’m decent and faithful and stupidly loyal.

    RIC, in all its insidious manifestations, sucks. So do the self-righteous assholes standing in the pulpits looking down their noses at the broken.

    I used to be a pastor’s wife. Now I figure the church is about the least safe place to be a woman (or child).

    • Our counsellor said during wreckonciliation “You could just as easily have had an affair”. Like so many times with stbx, I was just flabbergasted and didn’t reply. In fact, I did have a man I met during discard at a seed swap messaging me and wanting to meet for coffee – he said he was really keen to see me – but if I had done it would just have been to prove to myself I was still interesting. In fact I found out he was married, so no thanks.
      During the discard, still married, we had builders in and the stbx saw one of them looking at my legs (which are long and slim 😉). He drew that to my attention and told me that a good roll in the hay would do me good. Ewwww.

      • Every once in a while during our marriage a man would compliment me or tell the ex that he thought my voice was nice or liked my hair or whatever. It was always followed by greater isolation. Mr. sparkles didn’t trust me or any of his male friends to know me or be with me.
        I never worked outside the home and only volunteered at church. But even if I had been given the most tender attention, I was a fearful doormat and wouldn’t have responded.

      • AFKAC – I cannot believe that “counselor” said that to you!

        Rubbish, and an obvious lie these people peddle around to make cheaters feel good and ‘safe’. Quit trying to normalize this shit!

      • “A good roll in the hay would do you good.” Yes, it would be the first good roll I’ve ever had…..thanks for leading me into the right the right direction. (eye roll)

      • During discard ex was telling me that Schmoopie was still living at home with her then husband who had also turned up with a girlfriend since his DDay. Meanwhile she was on a dating site going on dates with other men while peripherally involved with him and considering getting back with her husband. He then turned to me and said “you should go on a dating site”. I was horrified and responded with “no thanks, somebody in all of this has to maintain some sense of dignity”. honestly I think he was pick me dancing with her and thought he might like me better if he had to pick me dance for me too. Maybe it was his oblique way to “working on our marriage” but it didn’t work for me.

        A few years before I used to pass by some homeless men on the way to work and I would sometimes give them sandwiches. One was a bit of a narcissist and often made the news when they did stories on the homeless (local homeless celebrity). anyway, one day ex suggested that I offer to kiss him if he would remain sober for a week. I was horrified that my husband would say such a thing to me at the time. Actually at one point the guy did start flirting with me so I changed my route to work. I guess that could have been another opportunity to cheat with ex’s blessing but yeah, no thanks (and not because the guy was homeless but because he was actually a bit of a jerk).

      • How can a counsellor say ‘Oh well you could have had an affair’ like that is some kind of excuse??? Lazy counselling or what, I might have a try. As for that roll in the hay comment. who do they think they are? Not quite as lewd but means the same sort of stupid thing, my ex said to me, ‘It would be a shame if you can’t open your heart to love’. Makes my blood pressure go up still just thinking about that one but also roll my eyes in equal measure. Dimwits.

        • I think the roll in the hay comment really got to me as divorce was not on the table at that point, and stbx seemed to be suggesting I could plummet to his level, where he was pursuing his dream girl (he called it exploring the relationship) while living apart but still married. It took me a long time even to take off my wedding ring, marriage is a sacred bond to me. This kind of thing was the stuff that showed me he really wasn’t the man I thought he was.
          As for the counsellor’s comment, thinking about it, I was unable to say I wouldn’t have had an affair because I was afraid of being self assertive and looking holier-than-thou. Even though, in the first few years of our marriage, stbx spent many nights away with his band and also about 8-10 months in total completely absent abroad with the band. And I never had an affair! He really must have thought I was a superb wife appliance…

    • You got that right. Unfortunately, misogynists like that pastor do tend to use religion as a cover for their hatred and evil.

    • Bloomingwithouthim,

      I disagree w/one thing you said. You weren’t stupidly loyal. You were just loyal. This culture (world?) puts being loyal down, as being stupid and chumpy. It’s not. It’s a strength, and you should be proud of that. The fact that it’s not appreciated by our fuckwit partners and frequently the greater world doesn’t affect that in the least. I honestly think it’s the lack of loyalty in this world that has got us into such a fucking mess. Among other things.

      So, don’t put yourself down for being loyal. That is all to your credit. Believe in yourself, bloomingwithouthim. Don’t doubt it, you’re of great character. Same for you CN; believe in yourselves.

      [Side note: It’s also good to hear in all of this discussion that I wasn’t the only one who consciously took themselves out of situations to have less exposure to temptation. When I confronted the XW on DDay, I asked her if she ever realized that one of the reasons I preferred to frequently stay home w/her and the kids was that as a side benefit I wasn’t likely to expose myself to any situations where I could even possibly be tempted? That I loved and cared about her so much that it just seemed to be a no-brainer to me (not to mention I actually ENJOYED my time w/her and the kids).]

  • There were a couple times ex’s co workers were overly friendly when ex was out of sight.
    First one at a wedding when ex went to use the restroom, his coworker started with how beautiful I am, he could tell ex was boring.., it was obvious where the conversation was going. Rather than giving the co worker my phone number I stood up and sat at another table.
    Another time was an overly friendly married co worker of ex’s who I suspected was interested in me but shrugged it off as just my imagination until one day I was walking upstairs and he walked up behind me and grabbed my behind and laughed, when I turned around coworker had a big smile on his face. I could have turned around, giggled, while grabbing his crotch…
    Instead I was humiliated, wondering what would make him that would be appropriate. I later told ex about the incident, his reply? oh, Randy was just playing around, that’s just how he is…,
    I should have been alarmed at his response and left him then.

    • Oh darn,Throat Punch Thursday was yesterday ! A throat punch to any man who comes up behind me and grabs my butt.

  • A coworker at the time was very vocal about his feelings toward me. He went so far as to say he was in love with a married woman as he continued to pursue me. I told him then you should go tell you wife how much you love her because I’m assuming that’s who you’re talking about. He also texted me while I was at home with my family and asked me if I thought we would have gotten together if we knew each other in college. I told him I would not disrespect my husband by answering that. I told my husband about these incidents.

    Fast forward and now I’m divorcing the husband who I didn’t want to disrespect because he’s a serial cheater.

  • I like the topic – quite liberating to remember I am not just a discarded doll.
    Well, here we go – I managed an organization of about 200 sometime mid-marriage, 7 years or so in. We had an offsite for team-building, including physical activities like sky-diving (this was a pretty young team). Very intense, a lot of fun. And I was the boss. We had two small kids at home at the time, not a lot of action in the marriage but that was ok, it was part of it all. At the end of a long evening at the resort bar with the team, when everyone retired, this beautiful HR lady, Northern European, tall, blonde, followed me to my room, and struck up a conversation right in front of my hotel room door, touching my shoulder in the process. Now this was either an agent provocateur from HR, or the real thing. I think the latter. Anyway, I politely extricated myself (“so tired, see you in the morning …”), and that was that.

  • When I was a newlywed 20something, my Cheaterhusband was on deployment in Japan and I went out with a work friend whose husband put up fencing for a living. He brought his coworker who was also a 20something guy who put up fences and he looked like a Norse god. He was BEAUTIFUL..tall, blond, tanned, ripped. He was also flirting with me and (being the dutiful wife I was) I literally FLED the bar…I ran from temptation never to see the Norse god again.

    I had no idea then that fleeing temptation was a rare superpower.

  • I was told by my very wise therapist, thirty years ago, that it’s normal to feel attraction to other people, but do NOT act on it. Instead, run the other way, withdraw attention, and voila! The feelings will die from starvation and you will be glad you didn’t engage.

    That was my experience in my 27 years with the cheater, who was in the same therapy session and who evidently didn’t follow the advice.

    FEELINGS FOLLOW ACTIONS. He CREATED the extramarital relationship (s) with his actions, and conversely killed our marriage with his inattention, neglect, sabotage, and treachery.

    So after leaving me and my daughter in his scorched earth wake, he set up to play house with his Sole Mate (his spelling). My daughter then caught him on Tinder and he is still going to the massage parlors. He is spectacularly unqualified for committed relationships. He really needs to be committed to a rehab for total assh***s.

    Relationships are a SKILL. They are LEARNED BEHAVIOR. Relationships fail because one or both of the people in them do not have, or are unwilling to learn, the skills for success.

    If there ever is a next time for me, I want a study partner who is honor student instead of a cheater.

    • Velvet, this should be in some DSM type dictionary as part of cheater definition:
      “killed our marriage with his inattention, neglect, sabotage, and treachery”

      Definitely always irrigating that grass in The Other Side.

    • Velvet, I’m a musician. If there is one thing I know, it is that you become skilled at what you practice. Good or bad. I now know that IF I ever am looking again, my radar will be looking for somebody who practices integrity and honesty every day, every hour, every minute of their life.

      I love your imagery of a study partner. 🙂

    • Great points. That’s exactly what my cheater did. He created fake “twu wuv” feelings by pursuing a woman and created contempt and hostility towards me by treating me like I was worthless.

  • I definitely had an enormous crush on a co-worker years ago when my kids were 2 and 4. It was definitely reciprocated. But nothing ever happened because my mantra was that I could never do anything to hurt my husband and kids, or his wife and kids. And I didn’t even waived when he walked into my office a year later to tell me he and his wife were divorcing.

    And I definitely threw it in Cheater”s face when his affair was exposed.

  • Great question. Before marriage (or that entire relationship) ever so often a woman would make a serious pass at me. (That’s actually how I met X) But it all stopped??? Post divorce, poof the magic is back, woman I’ve met have told me I am a very handsome man. I now theorize it’s because I wasn’t putting out the vibe. X always put out the vibe (like her scumbag dad). So one day I was at
    a conference and there was a cocktail hour afterwards. I was talking to a woman. As the conversation progressed I learned; she was married without kids, she was from out of state, she had a room in the hotel, she got another drink. Maybe I over reacted but I got the hell out of there and didn’t find out what the inside of her room looked like. Lol.

  • I was a young blond female in engineering. Not uncommon to be the only girl in a class of 50. Hung out between classes with male friends. We would do homework, or play pool or drink a beer in the pub (on campus) Then I’d commute an hour back home to my husband. These were smart, nice looking mostly single guys that I enjoyed having as friends. Didn’t cheat with any of them. Not even a little.
    Not cheating is not hard. Not if you honor your commitment.

    • I used to hang out with work friends, some female and just as many male and I would happily go back and talk to my ex about it. He brought this up (had to think of something) as me being out with ‘god knows who’. Well actually you do know who and you had met them briefly, they were my work colleagues and we’d often grab drinks after work, yeah sometimes we’d get quite drunk and you know, HAVE FUN. Did anything else happen? Never did and never would. So if its true he did feel insecure (not that anything was said at the time of course, heaven forfend) then we know why, he wouldn’t trust himself in that situation so why trust me. Projection or what.

  • My ex husband used to turn down nights out with his work friends, I would ask why he would say something like “there will be predatory females there, I don’t ever put myself in that position” – red flag much?? I interpreted that as him being loyal and respecting me, I was actually smug about it. What it really means (now I KNOW him) is that he couldn’t trust himself with other women. What a chump i am!
    I had a few situations during my 23 years with ex, one I was Particularly flattered by but when I realised the guy had less than good intentions I just said “I would never do that to my husband” and never spoke to him again.
    Another guy I knew who was out wetting his newborn babies head said “your husband is a very lucky man he must be very pleased with himself landing you”, I just replied “yes we are both very lucky to have one another” basically shutting down any further conversation about how attractive he found me. It would be ridiculous to say it isn’t flattering after many years of being out of the dating game, but it’s so easy to steer yourself away from those situations/conversations. Why do cheaters just believe that if they can get away with it they can just do it anyway?? It’s revolting and totally soul destroying that they were never like you to begin with.

  • I had taken a hiatus from my career and was waitressing to bring in some cash. The chef was quite the looker and a charmer. We flirted a lot at work. After work we’d all out go out drinking. I always felt so tempted to let it go further. One night, it almost did – we were the last two at the bar, he offered me a ride, I got into into his car, and as he pulled up to my house (with my fiance sleeping inside) I almost kissed him. I wanted him to take me somewhere else and have his way with me. But, I didn’t. Instead, I quit the next day.

    I understood that one can be attracted to another person but still have the respect for one’s partner. And that sexual chemistry between you and someone who is not your partner DOES NOT MEAN that your partnership is flawed. It simply means you have normal sexual desire. I also knew that I wasn’t willing to throw away years of partnership for some drunken lay.

    Affairs are a choice. Fidelity is a choice.

  • I think cheater-men sometimes forget how easy it is for women to get laid. As in, *whenever* we want to. We can walk into a bar and go home with someone *every* time (of course we don’t do this, but we could, if we were just looking for easy dick, similar to how cheater-men look for easy pussy).

    So, yeah, cheating opportunities for us chumpy women are everywhere, everyday. If only these cheater-men knew.

    • Truth. I’m 63 and STILL get hit on every time I go into a bar. I think the only criteria are being female and not in the company of men. Come on let’s get honest here. I’m a senior citizen. They’ll try to send me a drink via the bartender (who thinks it’s “cute”). I went to a jazz concert recently and some guy followed me out saying I was “hot” and could he get my number. No and no!!

    • This so true. When I left the house, I took the poor advice of “to forget a woman, you have to get on top of another.” And I tried, as I was in full screw it (and anything mode), and I’m a decent looking guy. But, sure enough her numbers were always more–she had no problem throwing her myriad conquests in my face.

      • One of my acquaintances is a senior nurse who travels quite a bit to train other nurses. She had extricated herself from an abusive marriage and needed some lovin’ so she joined Xmatch. Lots of sex with strange men in hotel rooms. And this was BEFORE her gastric bypass surgery.

        I’ve put her in the acquaintance category because I’m sure she was hooking up with some married men and didn’t seem to care. She had one scary incident where she had to cancel a “date” and the man sent threatening messages. One of her male friends with a deep baritone voice called the guy, claimed to be a police officer and told Stalker he better back off.

  • On Dday, I did throw it into my cheater Ex’s face how MANY chances I had had to cheat over the past 16 years and never did — she was actually stunned.
    I traveled constantly for work and was the engineering lead for a team (mostly guys) on projects. The project managers were almost all female and we were all 1000+ miles from home weeks at a time all staying in the same hotel. At the hotel bar every night, it was often me and the project manager all alone and I can’t count the times that I could have cheated and even was asked to go up to her room for a “nightcap”.
    Yet, I never did because I believe that your marriage vows are sacred and adultery is a vile thing and a mortal sin (I was Catholic as was my cheater Ex). Cheating is a moral and character failing and there is NO excuse for doing it.

  • A couple years into our marriage (We were married 20), I remember going to church by myself. I sat next to a really cute guy about my age. I could tell that he kept glancing at me and I was doing the same. At the end of mass, he tried to strike up a conversation with me. He told me his name and asked for mine. At that point, I held up my left hand and he said “Ahh”. We both left and I never saw him again.

    Bottom line, even if I was interested, there were boundaries. Things that are acceptable. Things that aren’t. It is called a moral compass. Infidelity doesn’t just happen. It is countless choices to cross over that boundary. And most of those choices are made well before sex is even on the table.

  • Thanks for posting this. I agree that society/the media portrays people as weak and unable to stop the “force” that is cheating. It’s fate! We can’t escape it! Hogwash.

    As far back as eighth grade, I was able to resist cheating. I was hanging out with a boy that I sort of had a crush on, and at the time, he was “dating” (inasmuch as one can really be in a relationship in eighth grade) someone else. He told me that he wanted to kiss me, and I said, “No. You’re dating [other gal].” No kisses were exchanged that night or ever. No emotional cheating took place; I put him in the friend zone and got over my little crush. If he ever went on to cheat, it wasn’t with me. My little eighth grade self had the strength not to cheat. I must be Wonder Woman! 😀

    There was also Extremely Hot Guy in grad school. I won’t lie– I see it as a missed opportunity knowing what I know now. I was working my student job in a medical building on campus, and he worked in one of the labs. I was engaged to Future Cheater at the time, and we were in a long-distance relationship while I was in school. I noticed EHG in my travels around the building, and we had only ever exchanged a friendly hello. Well, he asked a co-worker about me; I don’t think she knew I was engaged. She basically gave him the green light, but at least she had the courtesy to let me know before I ran into him. Because I’m not a cheater, I was flattered but felt panicked. He was going to ask me out? I’m engaged!!!

    Long story short, EHG asked me out, I told him I was engaged, he was extremely apologetic, and that was that. I stayed with Future Cheater and continued to avoid any/all minor flirtations in the ensuing years. The sad irony now is that I’m single, and I’d love to date again. Of course now that I’m in my 40s, I’m invisible. Boo hiss to all cheaters who stay with us while we’re “useful” (aka in our prime dating years) and then turn our lives upside-down when we’re significantly older and viewed as undateable.

    Actually, boo hiss to them no matter what the circumstances. Happy Friday, folks.

    • MovingOn, being in your 40s does not make you “undateable.” It makes you selective and unwilling to settle or sell yourself short. Live your best life, and if someone meets your high standards, you will know it.

      Some mature men are actually more interested in women in their age group than 20-somethings. I met the current Mr. Survivor in my 40’s, married him at 50, and am now closing in on 60.

      • Thanks, Survivor. Most days, I am pretty happy and don’t think that being single is bad at all. I know that I’d much rather be single than be with the cheater. I do want someone who meets my standards, and I’d rather be single than settle. That line from Pearl Jam’s “Better Man” goes through my head when I think about dating: “She lies and says she’s in love with him, can’t find a better man.” Yeah, I don’t want that!

  • Cheating ex had many friends in sports, motorcycle club, work etc. Few of the “friends” used to come onto me jokingly. But deep down I knew he was serious .
    It would’ve been easy to take him up on it but I loved & respected my then husband. Ha!
    Even after my divorce the friend continued to approach me for sex. He also was a cheating husband married many times. I’m still respectful to myself. That will never change.

  • I think it’s clear women get hit on a lot more than men….

    So, 23 years married or cohabiting with two women…zip, zero nada even in my imagination.

    Put me down for….ick. Lol

    A few months before I met STBX2, I was single, 31, hadn’t even dated anyone in a while, and this lovely young women in my research group took a shine to me. I was senior to her (she was 23 I think) but not her mentor. I still thought the whole power dynamic was too squicky for me so decided I would never persue it, and kept it friendly.

    The problem as usual was my guy friends who would see us interacting and say OMFG what is wrong with you? She wants you and she is gorgeous!

    LOL. No regrets.

  • Oh my gosh, after a lifetime in healthcare and corporate America I could write a book about married men who will cheat if given the opportunity. Especially when traveling together for work. I cannot even remember all the married guys who hit on me over the years. It always made me uncomfortable and frankly, it was sickening. Often I even knew their wives. Don’t you worry that I might feel compelled to tell her you disgusting idiot? Then there are the creeps that contact me on LinkedIn saying things like “I don’t normally do this but you’re so pretty I was hoping we could go to lunch.” Right!! I thought this was a PROFESSIONAL networking site, not a potential hook up app. And the doctor who left me a note saying I was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen. I later learned that he knocked up a co-worker and refused to claim the child until she had their son DNA tested. And apparently cheater STBX used most of the tactics I experienced on his harem. Some guys just use the shotgun approach—blast off a shot and hopefully one or two of the pellets will hit a target. Doesn’t really matter who. Just get a hit.

    I have come to the conclusion that there are two types of people in the world: Those with integrity and morals and those who are shallow, selfish, and a useless waste of space. Unfortunately the latter often masquerade as the former and it takes awhile for the mask to slip.

    • “…the latter often masquerade as the former and it takes awhile for the mask to slip.”
      Truth! It took me 17 years to figure out my (now) ex-wife wasn’t who I thought she was.

    • Early in my career I travel a lot for work. I was completely astounded by the number of married people who would get it on while on the road. Made me sick. Little did I know my ex was doing the same while I was gone.

  • First few years of marriage, I think I got hit on once or twice. Would tuck tail run hone tell her what happened. Around year 10, I took a new job. Two kids and a sexless marriage, I guess I let my guard down. Women between ages of 20-50 were hitting on me. I did find myself staring to flirt and start creeping towards that point of no return. Started thinking about my wife and kids and the damage it would cause. Went hone told her about how the job was not a healthy environment and resigned immu. Next ten years went by with couple minor hits I always told her about. Then during the 4 years of hell when I was 99 percent sure she was cheating, I had several for sure opportunities. Still just said no! So the premise that anyone will cheat is bogus. Anyone who actually loves their spouse will default to I will not do something that we all know will cause extreme pain.

  • Bald, ugly, poor, overweight……doesn’t matter. Everyone has had the opportunity to cheat. I don’t buy into the “improve yourself so they won’t stray horseshit.”

    • Yeah, they won’t stray, but only if you continue to be the marriage police and pick me dance for the rest of your lives!

  • I am an engineer who spent a career in heavy industry. The ratio was that I was one female to 30 males at any given moment. I never cheated.

    I was ignored by my X Asshat for 28 years of marriage. When some nice guy at work paid attention to me or made overt statements or inquiries I felt like I was valuable and, indeed, the feelings I got from that attention were just great. It happened constantly so I always made sure to mention the hubby and family when getting to know co-workers and I always made it clear I was blissfully in love. I never cheated.

    I was devalued and treated like trash by my X Asshat, especially in the final 10 years from OW#1 up until his final brutal discard and callous abandonment for OW#2. He hated me for my success at my job. I made more money than him in the last few years we were married and I could never speak of my bonuses or promotions. He was a childish, petulant, selfish dick who couldn’t stand to be with a true partner and instead wanted to be with a chick half our age and half his salary so he could feel far superior. But I never cheated.

    I easily could have run off into the sunset ANY other guy at work who acted like he gave a shit about me, I was so starved for basic support and attention.

    I NEVER CHEATED.

    • That constant refrain of “you can’t help who you fall in love with” is bullshit.

      Water the grass at home.

    • THIS!

      “I was devalued and treated like trash by my X Asshat, especially in the final 10 years from OW#1 up until his final brutal discard and callous abandonment for OW#2. He hated me for my success at my job. I made more money than him in the last few years we were married and I could never speak of my bonuses or promotions. He was a childish, petulant, selfish dick who couldn’t stand to be with a true partner and instead wanted to be with a chick half our age and half his salary so he could feel far superior. But I never cheated.“

      I could have written this. He hated my earnings and my potential and my drive. He punished me for it by blowing thousands upon thousands on his double lives! Only difference is he doesn’t go for younger ones, long term single and desperate is his type (I was when I met him for sure).

  • A few years before I discovered my stbx’s affair I renewed a friendship online with a male friend from high school — our conversations got very intense and personal and I was thinking way too much about them, possibly because my husband hadn’t shown interest in me for a long long time … I was freaked out and not sure how to handle it so I TOLD MY HUSBAND of 19 years, who responded, “I’d better step up my game.” I stopped contact with the friend but husband did NOT step up his game and I later found he was already going online to sex chatrooms (and who knows what else) at that point. Husband later said he had been unhappy for years, but never mentioned it … wouldn’t that have been a golden opportunity to talk about problems when I turned to him? Nope.
    Yesterday’s column made me think, isn’t it interesting how we justify, “he had a terrible childhood, he is damaged and sad, that’s why he couldn’t tell me his feelings and talk about how unhappy he was with me”
    Yet he was not too damaged and sad to have an online affair and plan for FOUR MONTHS to meet her, not too damaged and sad to tell a woman he’d never met that he loved her, not too damaged and sad to buy plane tickets and make hotel and restaurant reservations, to change plane tickets and make up a story about missing his plane, to lie and lie and lie … funny how only certain capacities are affected

    • My XH constantly told me he couldn’t talk to me about many things: his work day, his favorite color, his past… just too stressful.
      But there we are at dinner with friends, or friends over our house (because he always needed life to be a party) and someone ELSE asks him those questions, off he goes into long discussions.
      And after years of telling me he never had a favorite color, some girl asks him, and he quickly responded Red.
      Selective Short circuit indeed

    • This is what I say about the big famous powerful men who cheat – they are top of their game in sports politics and industry and suddenly weak and confused and powerless when cheating comes to light. How selective their capacities are, indeed.

      • That’s because they’re thinking with their Little Heads. And their Little Heads always want to screw around.

  • I worked in a clean room manufacturing medical equipment. I couldn’t wear my wedding ring because it might have tainted the products. (Tubing, adhesive, catheters, stuff like that).
    So it was understandable that someone didn’t know I was married and asked me out. It wasn’t hard for me to simply say “no, I’m married.”

    Over the years and constant emotional abuse there were many many times I wished I had married someone else or imagined what my life would be like with someone else, but even then, I had no desire to cheat on him. I took what I thought would be better about another relationship and did my best to apply that thought to the marriage I was already in.

    There’s NEVER a good reason to cheat.
    If you’re not happy in your marriage either fix it or end it.

    • Gave my XH so many ultimatums to leave. He still managed to talk me into working on us. “Special” etcetera ad finitum. All while carrying on with his double lives (plural, all at same time). Why do that? Why try so hard to stay when you’re doing everything behind my back as if you’ve left? It still baffles me, then I remember how disordered he is, truly disordered, top of the spectrum disordered, and I calmly stop trying to untangle the skein. It really is fruitless. Glad I stopped believing his lies and promises. I just can’t imagine wanting to live so many lies. So much energy put into deceptions. Just bizarre.

      • NenaB, I told the stbx several times during discard that if he wanted to leave, he should. I felt pathetic saying it as I thought I was asking for reassurance that he wanted to stay. He would always tell me he wanted to stay. But when I finally told him it was me or her, he left. Now I realise my gut was telling me the truth, but he was scared of leaving. He told me that he had a ‘mother wound’ and that he saw me as his mother and his comfort blanket.
        Heh – just typing that brings it home how much of an object I was for him!!

  • My ex told me no one would ever be interested in me while we were married and after. He even told me that he’d “used up my youth” as though I was a dried up piece of fruit. What’s interesting though is that I’ve always had many, many opportunities- from lawn guys who stripped off their shirts to golf pros eager to give me free help with my swing. I get lots of attention and I think it’s because I’m friendly which must read as “flirty” to other people but I also take my commitments seriously and while I was married I never even entertained the idea of cheating. Why? Because it goes against my principles and because I thought I was happy in my relationship.
    But it does still really piss me off that my ex thought no one would ever be interested in me He even told me that at my age (50+) Id be lucky to find an elderly man. I guess it cane as a shock to him that I’ve fallen in love with a fellow chump my age who let him know that the cheating ways and abandonment of both our exs was the best thing that ever happened to either of us. There are lots of fish in the sea and not all of them are poisonous blowfish.

    • “Used up your youth”? What a dick!

      It’s not enough that he cheated on you – he has to attempt cheap, obvious ‘no one will ever love you’ shots? Was that to scare you into staying with him? lol

      Pathetic

    • No Rain No Flowers,

      I’m glad things are looking up for you and your new partner.

      I remember in what I thought was a tender, intimate moment with my last boyfriend, who is a few years younger than me, ‘You’re pretty good for a 50-year-old woman.’ At first I thought that that was a compliment, but now I am more inclined to think that’s it was one of him many back-handed compliments of me. Now he’s married to the very successful work subordinate who is almost young enough to be my daughter, but I am dateless (going on two years). Maybe it is too late for me to find someone attractive overall and feels the same about me.

      • My favorites (heavy sarcasm) I’ve heard from other women said to them by men
        “You’re a really good lay”
        “I really like f*cking you”
        I’m so glad they got away from these types.

  • I just moved from a small town in the Upper Peninsula to Georgia. About a month and a half ago, a guy who happens to be a mutual friend of my husband’s on FB started messaging me asking how I was. I thought it was a little odd to be getting this message out of the blue. I mentioned that my HUSBAND and I were living the dream and that we both had good jobs. Then I got the sad emoji saying he didn’t know we left, that’s too bad, he was hoping to get to know me better. I didn’t like where that was going. I showed my husband immediately. My husband, bless his heart, initially didn’t see a problem. He’s kind of naive. I told him that this isn’t the kind of text message that married people should be sending to people they’re not married to and even though it wasn’t really suggestive and cheaty YET, it was WAAAY to close. The more the gave it some thought, he realized I had a point.

  • I had such a fabulous opportunity. The moon was right I was a thousand miles from home and this guy was not just fun we had a lot in common. He was very complimentary of me and he just rocked.
    But I had made a commitment to my significant other, and even though that relationship wasn’t satisfying me I could not get that commitment out of my mind. So I did not take that opportunity. Because I have myself to live with and I don’t do things like that to people I care about, or myself.

  • I work in a extremely male-dominant profession and my particular specialty makes it more so. My work has required frequent travel, and the need to be comfortable interacting with strangers quickly. Cheating is considered by many in my field to be “no big deal.” (Disgusting but still true today). Over the years, I had numerous opportunities to be unfaithful and X would never have known.

    The thought never even entered my head. I believed I had a rock solid marriage, so it was important to me to honor that marriage. Silly me. You can imagine my anger when I learned X had specifically arranged for me to be working out of town on his birthday so her could be with the Church Lady.

    I will never understand how cheaters so casually betray their wedding vows. What is the point of being married in the first place?

  • I could have cheated so hard with a former coworker of mine. He was married but flirted mercilessly with me all the time. I admit that I flirted back, although I always managed to keep everything on my end at a level that I felt was harmless and wouldn’t make me mad if my ex-husband had been saying the same things to someone. This coworker and I went out to lunch and texted a lot because we were friends also. I told my ex about it whenever the coworker and I had lunch, and my ex knew that he was flirty. Having someone feed my ego like that really benefited my ex, because I’d feel all hot and sexy and go home to my ex and he’d reap the benefits! Eventually the coworker moved away and I cut ties with him, because I felt like that was better for me and my marriage. Cut to D-Day a few years later and I find out that my ex had been sleeping with one of my BFF for at least a year (I think longer) and showed no real remorse. He threw the flirty former coworker in my face and said “Well if you’re going to tell people about my affair, I’ll tell everyone about your flirting with him!” I LAUGHED IN HIS FACE. Because yes, me going to lunch and flirting with a guy is EXACTLY the same as you having sex for at least a year (probably longer) with someone who pretended to be my friend. THE EXACT SAME.

    • My x did exactly the same. I had a few male friends at work who I would go out with at times and talked on the phone. Note, I work in a male dominated environment and am in many teams the only woman. We all are friendly and joke with each other. I always told him when I went out and with whom. Mostly it was lunch or early dinner and most often in a small group. It may have happened once a month if not less.
      He threw that in my face as being exactly the same (fucking asubordinate, planning a life with her, living a 4 year double life).
      He even dared to blame me that I had invited a male coworker over when he was not home. I did. But I had also invited his wife and kids. Because we were the same age and his kids were my kids’ age. I thought it was harmless. He felt it was a betrayal. False equivalencies.

  • I never felt the temptation to cheat while I was married. Sure, I was around men. But I had eyes only for CheaterX.

    Now, before I married CheaterX, the two of us had been in quite a long relationship, a lot of it long distance, as I was in grad school. I was house-sitting for a faculty member, and across the alley lived a very successful, good-looking man who owned his own business. He had a great house and a lovely dog. He also liked to do the same kinds of things I liked: camping, fishing, a lot of outdoor stuff. I knew this because he’d jump in his Jeep after loading it up with various gear. Once he asked me if I’d water his garden while he was off camping for a week. Occasionally, we’d sit in the back of the property, which opened up into the alley (it was a neighborhood with swanky houses, all of which had patios facing the alley so there was quite the alley community), and have a beer.

    Then he asked me if I were in an exclusive relationship. I said yes. We still had the occasional beer together, but that was it. When he started dating a woman, we didn’t have beer, but we did say hi across the alley.

    You don’t have to cheat. I respected this guy for asking about my relationship and being able to maintain his own boundaries.

  • I have a few examples.

    1. The married coworker
    We went on a business trip and had a few drinks after a successful meeting. He leaned in to kiss me. I told him off and went immediately to my hotel room (alone) to make my point that I was not interested.

    2. The charming boss
    I had a boss who was incredibly charming and sparkly. Of course married. Now I know to be a lot more distant, but at that time I enjoyed some flirting and there was definitely some tension. I used this pleasant energy to work harder and eventually got a promotion. Nothing else happened.

    3. The running partner with questionable intend
    I have a running partner who seems to be sometimes overly eager to spend time with me alone. And I typically go for a run and then find a reason why I immediately need to head home and cannot go to lunch/dinner etc. Usually my reasons include the words. Sorry, I have plans.

    4. Another coworker
    Another coworker had been trying to get me to go out. He was nice and I had no idea if there was any intent for more. I just thought it was weird that he asked me out. So, I said yes, but invited a bunch of other coworkers as well, so it would not be an accidental date. I like being social, but am not stupid.

    5. The wife
    I have a coworker that I like as a person and as a coworker. His wife was nervous about us traveling together, so he invited me to dinner to meet her. I made sure to make her feel comfortable and treat her husband with the necessary distance. I avoid using inside jokes and avoid talking about work projects in a way that excludes someone on the outside. I ask her questions. I make the conversation mutual and do not hide who I am. She knows I am in a divorce process and why. I made very clear that I have no interest in her husband, but enjoy BOTH their company.

    I work in a male dominated field. There are opportunities. It sometimes feels like the social version of dodge ball.

  • I was at a gas station and the guy working at the counter started talking and asked me out for coffee. I said I was in a relationship (dating X at that time) and the guy said well your BF will never know. I said I would know and how rude and disrespectful that was. I told X and never went back to that gas station. Another time X and I were together and a previous BF called me and I told him I was in a relationship. I told X and then blocked the old BF’s number. I was upset by the gas station guy because I wondered what kind of morals he had and I shared my feelings with X. Looking back X didn’t seem too concerned. Guess I was the only honest one in our relationship.

  • I didn’t have a lot of opportunities because I really wasn’t looking for them and generally put out “unavailable” vibes. Personally, I would have found an extra lover a bother rather than a boon. That would have just been two needy people demanding my attention and support instead of just the one (well four if you count the kids). I didn’t have time for that. I recall once getting a fortune cookie just after a big move, acquiring a new job and when I had three children ages 1-7 that said “You will meet a new love interest soon” and I turned to the coworkers I was with and said “oh God I hope not, that’s the last thing I need right now”. I believe that my ex found affair partners because he wanted to. Initially he may have just wanted to see if other women would show interest because he was afraid that maybe I was the only one who found him attractive. When he discovered that yes, other women find him attractive, he liked the kibbles and responded positively and provocatively instead of shutting it down, although he didn’t cross the sex line for a number of years. Eventually, I started to look pretty worn out, unloving and unattractive compared to all of those shiny new kibbles and he went for it because he felt entitled. Then he fell for one of them because he’s an idiot.

    I do work in a male dominated field (HVAC engineering) so most of my coworkers over the years have been men. I have to say that since getting into engineering most of my male coworkers have been very professional in their interactions with me. They were too busy looking after their families and being truly busy with their jobs to have time for such stupidity and I respect them all for that. Occasionally, however, there were one or two who tried to flirt. I would just play dumb and act like I hadn’t noticed or hadn’t interpreted it that way. This worked well as it made it clear I had no interest and allowed them to save face.

    There were other incidents with non colleagues. For the most part, however they were men I would never have had an interest in anyway and ex was a useful prop for fending them off. Just flash the ring a few times and talk about what a wonderful husband I have. Some were harder to get rid of than others but being married helped.

    The one time I might have had an opportunity to cheat with someone I found interesting if I had followed it through was when I was in graduate school. I was in school in the middle of nowhere and ex was unable to find employment there so he ended up working in a city eight hours away. There were two fellow students who showed an interest in me. One I have no doubt would have asked me out if I had been single but he had met ex and liked him too and respected our marriage and kept it at the friendship level. The other was someone I found very interesting who also found me interesting. It never rose to the level of a crush on my part but certainly a “if I were single I would be interested in this guy”. Anyway we were assigned to work on a project together. He invited himself to my apartment to work on it. It did feel off (really, now I know I should have just insisted we meet in a public place but I didn’t know any better then). I figured I was being paranoid and that clearly he just wanted to work on the assignment as he knew I was married. While we were working on the assignment at one point he paused, got a funny look on his face and then looked under the table and said “oh it was the cat, I thought you were playing footsie with me”. I said “cat, you are going to get me in trouble”. Then I spent the rest of the evening going on about how great my husband was. He never invited himself to my apartment again.

  • I LOVE this!!

    I went into a restaurant one day and walked next door to a convenience store while waiting for my order. This hottie from behind the counter followed me over to the store and started making conversation with me. I saw him a few more times. The compliments, asking for my number (which I never gave)…I LOVED it. But…I realized that I was enjoying the attention a bit too much and actually went out of my way to avoid the establishment. I totally could have had him though lol.

    Also, I was struggling at a new job. A more senior, very successful, employee took me under his wing and we started having lunch together regularly. He never let me pay. Then he started informally supervising me as he knew I was on the verge of quitting. The creature who was actively going down on hookers (unbeknownst to me at the time) told me he was uncomfortable with how friendly the two of us were getting. I completely understood, as I was starting to think he had feelings for me. I cut off contact.

    …neither of these was difficult for me!

  • Your stories give me hope! There are people out there who value commitment and don’t cheat!

    Looking back – I told my then husband that the only thing I missed about being single were the butterflies of anticipation that you get from meeting someone new. The rush of not knowing what’s going to happen that disappears when you fall into the patterns of normalcy. Little did I know he was meeting someone new on a weekly basis. He was getting those butterflies – he hadn’t given up anything.

    I honestly look at my whole marriage as a waste of time. I like men, I like sex and I like meeting people. I was happy to give up all of that.

  • so i had lots of opportunity to cheat cuz i travelled extensively and worked in an industry dominated by men. i have been propositoned a few times and i placed myself in compromising situations by drinking too much a few times. i never crossed the line for 30 yrs. it never even occurred to me that it was an option for me. it was a gut thing – not even an option. i cant even imagine how to do that. that is not to say i didnt have good friends who were male but there was never a spark. i knew of a few people who did have affairs and none of them ended well. hugs chumps. heres to a better life without a cheater.

  • Several women made passes at me while I was married. Generally, I didn’t know how to handle it directly, so I would just freeze up — turning into ‘a deer in the headlights.’ The ones I’m thinking of were women whom I did find quite attractive and honestly thought, “If I wasn’t married, I’d totally run with this.”

    Now that I’m divorced? Three of those who had made passes while I was married found me and tried again (e.g., facebook messenger, “I’m all alone in a hotel room in your city tonight, you should come by.”)

    The funny thing? While I was married I always thought, “if I get divorced, I’d totally follow this up.” And now that I AM divorced, women who it on me while I was married give me a deep gut feeling of being profoundly unappealing. Noped right out of that.

  • There were numerous opportunities. Not as many as my ex fuckwit had, because I turned down a lot of work travel to take care of the family. But I worked in a male dominated field and scientific conferences were ripe with opportunities. Most notably, a colleague that I collaborated with was hot in a Bruce Willis (I’m over 50) kind of way, athletic and outdoorsy and there was chemistry between us. We would spar verbally -a science nerd take on flirtation but that’s it. He was also married and not one of those types to cheat. He never made a move. I never made a move. We lived in different states but saw each other at meetings, had dinner (with other colleagues), published papers together and were in relatively frequent contact-meaning a flurry of emails every few months with sexy exchanges like “Can you send me that Prism file with the data from the C391 experiment?”. Once he went so far as to send me a picture of a desert turtle he saw mountain biking because he knew I liked to mountain bike and I love nature. I actually thought my husband was jealous because he asked why this colleague had sent me a picture of a turtle when he happened to see that email. Teasing each other about our sports teams and some inside jokes about mutual nemeses in the field were about has close as we got to anything intimate. I had acknowledged to myself that, had I met him in a different time, had the cards fallen in a different pattern, I might have ended up with him. But we both loved our spouses. His spouse is better than mine though. Not only is she also fit and outdoorsy, while my ex only gets his heart rate up for porn and side-pussy, but she is very warm and loving. Some of us can actually meet the one that got away and still remain committed AND happy with the one that we are with. And as I say that, I just got chilled by a memory of the song “love the one you’re with” playing and ex fuckwit saying how much he hated that song and what a stupid lyric it was. And I just assumed he didn’t mean us.

  • My ex showed me ZERO affection after the birth of our child. ZERO. No hugs, kisses and no sex. The first time after the birth I tried to hug and kiss him, he pushed me away and said “Oh NOW you like me? You need to treat me better if you want that.” I am still confused by that statement. I have no idea what I did to offend him so badly that he lost complete sexual interest in me. It was degrading and hurtful. I made excuses to myself saying that witnessing the birth messed him up.

    I stayed in that marriage for 7 years before he cheated and left. Never once, though I was starving for love and affection, did I ever think about cheating on him.

    • I was chatting about this on Facebook the other day: pregnancy and childbirth messes with the disordered in a particular way. They’re not the centre of attention, and they hate it. Babies are a bundle of needs, and their mothers absolutely must focus on them, and man-babies can’t bear it – it’s like torture.

      I know a divorced couple where a similar thing happened to you, but the husband was an ‘ex gay’. Witnessing the birth really did something to him, and there was no more sex. And eventually no more marriage.

    • My XH did the same thing after my fourth. It was a difficult pregnancy with complications. For the last month, I was on bed rest, then he was born s month early. He was allergic to everything, so I had to alter my diet and nurse him only. If he wasn’t nursing, he was screaming. It was a very difficult first year, but I wasn’t intentionally ignoring my husband. I made every effort to be with him that I could. But yes, it is torture for them when they’re not the center of attention, and he just couldn’t handle it.
      Eventually, he just didn’t bother with being home at all unless he had friends over to socialize and eat with. I’d have to go upstairs because I couldn’t take care of the baby in front of people. I was very isolated.
      Flip side though, I never blamed the baby. I’m sure if he could’ve, he would have chosen a different stomach. I poured nothing but love into that child even as he screamed and screamed. That child loves me. After school, he plows into me and hugs me like he hasn’t seen me for days. He snuggles up to me every chance he gets. I work at his school, and when he sees me, he asks his teacher if he can run and give me s hug really quick.
      He’s such a blessing and a balm for everything his Dad puts me through.

  • I heard about this after the fact…but apparently several years ago, there was a after work gathering amongst the guys in the office. Too many drinks were had. Some inappropriate conversation happened…who’s hot who’s not, in the office.
    Voted into the “hot” list, and also special mention for “best boobs ”

    Yeah they’re real. And they are fabulous.

  • You know, like a number here I had to think hard about if I was ever tempted over 26 years of marriage. Sure I’d see a pretty lady and sometimes think that she looks nicer than the one I was married to but I was never tempted to chase and TBH was never really chased in return.

    The only exception could be one lady who I hired a few years ago who seemed to have a hero complex thing going where it appeared that for her that I could do no wrong. She told me later (we’ve stayed friends after she moved on to another job) that she was surprised when one day I made some comment about how devoted I was to my wife. She does refer to me as “the best boss I ever had” because it seems that I was the only one who ever treated her as a member of the team and not a pair of boobs.

    My lady friend who is also a chump and I have chatted about this. Infidelity is of course a major deal-breaker for both of us. Since I was both single and celibate for 3 years prior to meeting her and certainly could have changed at least the second thing if I was so inclined to wade in the shallow end of the pool, there really is nothing to work with.

    As all will agree I am sure – the ability to commit infidelity speaks to a fundamental character flaw in the cheater, not to mysterious outside forces.

    BT

  • Well!? They say “ birds of a feather flock together “.
    Years later, when I think of some of the people who came on to me, who were friends of ex, and obviously cut from the same cloth…
    I reckon they compete with each other.
    But U don’t know ur in a competition .

  • I am really glad to be reading these Vignettes about Chances to cheat and not taking the propositioner up on it. I sometimes feel like I’m one of the only people that hasn’t cheated and my perspective is old fashioned…that social media has doomed us as principled people. Since this experience I’ve spoken to a lot of people about cheating. It seems that most people believe that given the right circumstance anyone could cheat. Reading the above, it is clear that all of us have had the opportunity and made a choice. we looked beyond momentary gratification of giving in to our base selves to respect for ourselves and others. i have become so jaded with the negative news and my personal climb out of depraved situation that this gives me hope.

  • Not one man has had a crush on me nor me him in 19 years . I have not been even remotely approached or had my head turned by anyone except my STBXH in all that time .
    This is why I think I will be alone forever let alone my trust issues no one will ever fancy me to ask me out .

    • Karen, is it possible that men ARE interested in you but you are not realizing it ??

      My now wife had been chumped and badly abused by her Ex. Years after her divorce when she started dating she was amazed at all of the men on a dating app that were interested in her. She thought that no man ever looked at her except her Ex.
      Part of this is she is very intellectual and never learned about body signals that show interest. The other is her Ex’s constant abuse saying horrible things about her and her body as control mechanisms. Between the guys she dated before me as well as me, she realized what total BS that had been.

      The same might be true for you.

      • That was a kind thought you shared Laughing Gator & I hope you’re right for all of our sakes! I didn’t date in high school & met my husband in college & married him at 22. 34 years married & 5 years divorced but the devaluation has left some scars on me. I hope there are men out there who can see past the shell around me, and I can be more aware & make the connection.

  • While living and working in Africa, I vacationed on a private beach in Alexandria, Egypt, on the Mediterranean Sea. While there, a private super yacht docked and a very well todo couple came ashore to stay, and I was approached by the yacht’s Captain. This 40 something Cary Grant-twin, chill, sexy, romantic, Turkish God was very interested in me, and further contacted me expressing his carnal intentions; he was also very upfront with the fact that he just dates women and was not into relationships. We went on some dates when I was available and single (and by dates I was his Pretty Woman, without the prostitution payments), however I came back to the US, and communication from him stopped, for years.

    A few years ago, I had just bought a house with Firefucker, and I got this email.
    “Raes,
    This winter I will be 50 years of age. My hope is that you will join me for this celebration. I have purchased my own vessel and crew for the next three months. I will be sailing to French Polynesia. I ask for your presence on this voyage. I will be happy to compensate you for work for 2months. You are my most desired gift. I look forward to your words.

    Capt. Sexy”

    Total narcissist, but he was up front about it and his intentions. Did I go? Of course not. Free designer clothes, luxury yacht, free gourmet meals by a private chef, free sailing around French Polynesia for two months, having a partner who worshiped my body, all expenses paid……sometimes my moral core really pisses me off.

  • He was tall, athletic, goofy, attentive. He’d stop by my office every afternoon and flirt, telling me constantly how lonely he was, and how good I looked. And he. was. yummy. It was very clear: say the word. He was single. But I was not. And I never wanted to look my kids in their eyes and tell them that mom found something better than what our family had. I never wanted to be the one to blow it all up, to give up a good (so I thought) man, a good-enough (so I thought) marriage. So I started keeping my door shut in the afternoons, and my smiles went cold. Nah–no thanks.

    The Chief drew his finger along my hip, where I complained of hurting. He could help. God, he was gorgeous, and funny, and respected. And I worked with his wife. Who the fuck would do that? I backed up–not this one. We remained professionally friendly.

    The ex accused me of cheating multiple times. I didn’t know what to say. I wasn’t. I didn’t. I never would–it’s wrong.

    But he did. He never claimed that everyone did it, only that he was a dog. He seemed really proud of that.

  • Shortly before our wedding, I was out of town for military training. They put me up in a hotel, and I had an old friend who lived nearby. I called him up, we met for beers in a brew pub. A somewhat inebriated, very attractive young blonde woman came to our table and was hitting on me, wasn’t taking no for an answer at first. It was the perfect opportunity. I didn’t take it.

    After we were married, I had a new female co-worker who had an obvious crush on me. She was always complimenting my appearance, touching me, flirting constantly. It became actual sexual harassment when she continued after I asked her to stop. When she left her shift, a co-worker would sometimes say to me she had to go home to change her panties. She was very attractive, and very willing. Never even considered it. The harassment only ended when she was fired.

    Another new co-worker at a later job. Very attractive, smart, personable, well educated. She began touching me when we spoke, looking into my eyes like a girlfriend would. I brought up my wife and kids in the conversation. It all stopped immediately, never resumed. She moved away for another job. We are Facebook friends.

    Was I attracted? Of course I was! I didn’t go blind when I got married. But I keep my promises, unlike the lying, cheating, lazy, spendthrift person I married.

  • I think you need to be open to it. To a certain extent you may get more attention if in subtle ways it seems you are available. I always felt that my family and the man I was going to be with for the rest of my life were way too valuable to ever contemplate an affair and so I tended to give off unavailable vibes from the word go, although I could tell there were one or two people who were interested. In the meantime husband was secretly conducting affairs for years.

    And what pisses me off is that I’ve just discovered to my utter shock that even at my age it’s possible to fall for someone as old as I am (61) again. And I’m not going to do a damn thing about it because he has a partner and I couldn’t inflict that pain on anyone.

    Any tips for getting rid of unrequited love (can’t avoid the guy as he has been the most fantastic music teacher to my son and helped him recover from the trauma and mental health issues). In fact I reckon it’s probably because he’s helped my son that I am this ridiculous love-sick old lady.

    • lelibelle, honesty is the best thing. Tell him that you went through hell with your Ex cheating and the devastation that caused and you would never do that to someone else.
      Tell him if he is ever truly single then maybe otherwise it must stay at a professional level.

      • No don’t worry it hasn’t got to that. I’m sure I don’t even register on his radar. If he showed any interest in me I’m sure that as he is in a relationship it would be as appealing as cold vomit and be an instant cure for how I feel about him.

  • Ok, even an old ropey pensioner like me had a few occasions. It was easy to stay faithful.
    The boss that said she wanted me to come to her house at night to get a therapeutic massage.
    The project manager (PM) that cried and hugged me ferociously when I announced I was leaving her project. Then said PM took me to lunch with a totally backless braless shirt and asked me if she was revealing too much.
    My nephew’s girlfriend who liked to stroke my arm and hug me tight pushing her pelvis against me.
    The subordinate at work that like to put her hand on my leg.
    The fellow meditator, that after one conversation invited me to coffee, texted me a bunch, and then asked me to go on a romantic hike with her. I wear a large wedding band and I made it conspicuous. Hmm.
    And during those few times I get a massage I keep my junk covered. No happy endings for me. No regrets.
    I wasn’t always smooth in saying no as fast as I should have but I didn’t cross any lines. Now I’ve learned that if someone puts their hand on my leg I should just politely but firmly tell them I’m not comfortable please remove your hand.
    So now I’m going down my escape route to freedom, (aka the Underground Chumpy Railroad), but I’m convinced the time for dating and any sensual relationship is after final divorce and my healing process is done. Life gets better every day. I’m living a new story now. Thank you CL and CN.

    • Rat in a Cage,
      Thanks for reminding us that women can be just as creepy,inappropriate and handsy as men !

      I’m so over being polite when people touch me or hug me without asking permission. One thing I learned in a self-defense class several years ago (as well as therapy) was to be congruent in my communications. I don’t want somebody putting their hand on my arm ? I say, “Please stop touching me” with a straight face, not a smile or a giggle. And that doesn’t make me a humorless bitch just somebody with clear boundaries.

      • Thank you for a good example of what to say. Your reply is also a reminder for me to think ‘IDGAF’ if people don’t like my boundaries.

  • Through out my 34 year marriage. I had several men that were interested in me. I had 2 that said what your husband doesn’t know won’t hurt him. My husbands best friend asked me out. I politely turned them down. I am not going to deny that I wasn’t tempted and faltered. But, I told them I was married and I will not betray my husband. I loved my husband and never entertained the thought of another man.

    Looking back I should have divorced him decades ago. He verbally abused and financially abused me. When I found out about Skankella I was emotionally and financially drained. I did not relize I was in an abusive marriage until after I showed him the door. Him cheating was just another form of abuse. I still have men ask me out. At this time I have no interest. At this time it is so nice to be cheater free.

  • I once worked for a married executive at my organization. Everyone knew he liked me – it was embarrassing. I never put out there that I would be receptive to anything with this guy. I maintained a respectful distance from him. I didn’t talk about my marriage or his marriage with him – didn’t discuss anything personal. It’s not that he wasn’t attractive enough or successful, but both of us were married. If I was single, I’d still keep away from a married guy. And anyone that is married and making advances on someone else, is a huge turnoff to me now as single woman.

    You can’t affair-proof your marriage. You can only affair-proof yourself by not being receptive to cheater advances. His pursuit of me gave me no kibbles – just caused me embarrassment.

    • Nah…Hannibal Lecher here is just irresistible kibbles to the Owhores of this world. Clearly he is in this nasty predicament because of us…wile, evil Chumps and clearly the Owhore’s super pussy will save him. She’ll mount him right there and then….’cause twu lurve…. Let’s not forget that Owhores are just as messed up as the various fuckwits we had the misfortune to cross paths with.

      As for the topic at large, there were many times I could have cheated, but…one in particular, he was married and a bad mismatch with his wife, I was in an LDR and lonely, in short both quite unhappy. The mutual chemistry and attraction was palpable…..but…..we both just happened to be decent people and made a mutual effort to avoid each other, which was no easy task since we had a huge group of mutual friends. Still, we avoided each other and outside of a civil “hello” made a point of not even speaking….’cause…we were both committed to other people and not free to pursue anything…OR maybe we are just both super human unicorns who are completely impervious to the “it just happened” forces wherein your pussy just falls on top of the conveniently erect dick…I don’t know….still thinking about that one. Maybe some people just have…..values…and morals…and self respect….and character…..and will power……..and respect for others and their relationships….and…well…just basic human decency….

      • Good point; OWhores would easily have sprung our cheaters from any restraints in which we put them, aided by the pity channel because we chumps were wicked enough to put them in restraints.

        I had a similar situation–a colleague and I talked at a party and had a clear attraction to each other (for one, he was KIND, and I was in a kindness-free marriage). I avoided him for years after that (only to find that Hannibal was succumbing to his baser instincts left, right, and center).

        • Isn’t it amazing what an aphrodisiac genuine kindness is? Like water in a desert. I’ve got that now, and I still can’t get over it, much to Awesome Boyfriend’s amusement. Well, actually, he likes being appreciated.

  • Serial cheater tried to pimp me out to all of her friends _because_ she knew I didn’t want to. We are nothing but pawns to them.

  • I found myself developing a crush on a woman I was in a musical with. I intentionally ghosted a possible friendship, because we were both married, and I didn’t want to put myself into temptation. My STBXW actually thought that she (ghosted friend) would be a better match for me than her (STBXW), but this was after her affair had started, so she was trying to rationalize as much as she could.

    In the end, the ghosted friend divorced her husband, but that’s when I was working through reconciliation from the first D-Day. When I finally called it quits after reconciliation failed (the 2nd time, ugh, what a waste), she was already engaged. I think of her as someone who could’ve been a great match, but the timing just didn’t work out. It gives me hope for finding someone else in the future. And I have no hard feelings, because I cut things off before anything happened.

    I told my therapist about this, and he basically said, “Yeah, you did the right thing, because you have integrity, unlike your STBXW”.

    • I always say, ‘we make the best decision we can with the info we have at the time’. This is a great example!

  • Opportunities to cheat while dating the cheater:

    Went out dancing with girlfriends on two separate occasions. Country Line dancing (very popular in the early 90’s) and also at an edgy club. Got hit on by multiple men at both places and one guy tried to unbutton the back of my sweater (large buttons all down the back kept it together — didn’t feel it because they were large and the sweater was loose). I shut it down and walked away from them all.

    When I was still a manger at McD’s, one of my employees came behind me when I was doing something managerial at the cash register. He put his arms around me, but was holding onto the cash register. That was when I knew he liked me and he was coming onto me. He was very attractive and maybe four years younger then me (I was in my mid 20’s). If I wasn’t dating my ex, I probably would have gone for it, but I wiggled myself out from his arms, didn’t flirt and walked away. He never tried that again with me. Lots of guys at McD’s flirted with me, but I never took the bait. I was committed to my X, but little did I know, he was cheating on me behind my back during this time.

    Opportunities to cheat while married:

    Former co-worker at a job that I no longer work at — it took me awhile to figure out he was a player. I thought he was just my work friend and we’d talk politics and WW2 stuff when we were supervising the kids. One day my spidey sense went off and that was the day I started distancing myself from him. When he’d want to converse, I told him I couldn’t. Found out a few years later, that he had an affair with a married co-worker and he was also pursuing heavily another co-worker. He ended up quickly marrying a woman he met at a bar and she’s a Sugar Momma to him.

    In 2004,with the permission of my husband, I got in contact via email with my former high school boyfriend. We only dated a few weeks, but he was always a special friend to me. I hadn’t spoken or seen him since graduation in 1984. I just wanted to see how he was doing and if he was going to our high school graduation. He lived in MN, me in NY and our reunion was held in WI. So we started corresponding back and forth, but not every day or anything like that. All about what we had been up to the last 20 years. Nothing flirtatious at all from either of us. Reunion came and went. Nice to see him again. Came home and realized I really looked forward to hearing from him. My marriage was lonely from the start and my ex paid attention to me when it was convenient for him or he wanted something from me. So it was nice talking to someone who actually seemed to like talking with me. And then I realized I had those tingly high schoolish feelings again. Not love. Not lust. Just “feelings”. And I shut it all down with him, because I knew it was wrong. We never said or did anything wrong, but I knew it was wrong to have any tingly feelings for him. We stopped emailing. Became friends on Facebook. Long story short, but he met my XH at the reunion and they became friends on Facebook too. I only messaged him once and that was to share a pic my son sent a few months back of a book that my high school friend gave to me (it’s a men’s Christian book, but is good for women too — “Wild at Heart”). I thought it was cool my sons friend gave it to him too read.

    After emailing with my former boyfriend, I even told my XH about the feelings and “came clean”. He acted all understanding and all-knowing that this wasn’t a good thing and happy I shut it down. Little did I know that the asshole was doing this and more with tons of women our entire 23 years together. And guess what? After D-day, he threw my former classmate in my face in front of our kids and said, “What about Dean?!” Nothing happened with Dean. Nothing was ever going to happen with Dean. I shut it down, so it would never get to the point of even flirting. And that’s how toxic, evil people will use anything to make you look bad. I was being honest and open in our marriage and he used that against me. Evil fucking bastard!

  • Don’t get me started. Enough chances that I’ve forgotten most of them by now.

    This is what cheaters refuse to accept: that we chumps are just as desirable as they are; we just enforce boundaries and stick to our commitments. And in fact, that can make us even MORE desirable.

  • I used to have bartenders tell me “The guy at the other end of the bar wants to buy you a drink. What’ll you have?” I always felt awful about it, and asked the bartender to tell him I’m married. The idea of flirting with some stranger was not even on my radar. I felt uncomfortable for everyone involved.

    Meanwhile, my now ex was bragging about how his wedding ring made him attractive to certain women. That should have been a giant red flag to me, but I just laughed with him. Now, of course, he’s married to one of the women he lured with the wedding ring I put on his finger. They deserve each other. And I’m with a man who respects me.

    I’m glad I never became a cheater. It’s good to know that when it comes down to it, I’ll do the right thing. And my prize for that is a relationship with a person who thinks the way I do.

    • Amen to this>>>I’m glad I never became a cheater. It’s good to know that when it comes down to it, I’ll do the right thing. And my prize for that is a relationship with a person who thinks the way I do.” And a big congrats on finding someone who thinks the way you do!

  • As I worked at a university much of the time I was married, I often saw handsome men, some of whom I might have engaged in a more than professional relationship. However, I don’t want to engage in a relationship with a work subordinate as my last boyfriend did (he married the work subordinate shortly after discarding me) nor do I like the idea of committing adultery as did my ex-husband. My exes seem to get whoever they want, beautiful, smart, rich women. Now ‘free,’ for nearly two years, I would love to have a healthy, happy intimate relationship but can’t seem to get even one ‘real’ healthy, compatible date! Trying to make the best possible life completely on my own, but I envy people who regularly get happy, healthy love and sex.

  • I had a ton of opportunities to cheat and didn’t do it. Even when on some level I wanted to. I just said to myself “No, you’re not going to do that”. That’s called commitment. I would have cut off my arm before I did to him what he did to me. And he loves to tout that “it just happened” narrative. That they (Cheater and OW) resisted as long as they could, as though they deserve a prize for waiting some respectful amount of time before destroying my life.

  • Like many reporting here, I too had ample opportunity to be unfaithful. The list includes:
    – my old high school flame (married)
    – an ex-beauty contest winner whom I had a college-summer fling with (divorced)
    – several different coworkers over the years (mostly single, one married)
    – a half dozen instances where women propositioned me at parties or social gatherings (most married, one single)

    Each instance presented an easy and, at times, tempting opportunity to step “outside” my marriage, but I didn’t take them. Sure, it was exciting; I’m human. I was flattered. There were a few times I flirted back, although not to the point of inappropriateness (that’s where my XW and I differed). And yes, there were a few times I fantasized about them, but it remained just that…fantasy. Simply put, I wasn’t going to cheat. I loved my wife, not to mention we had great sex (in my opinion, when we had it), and I loved my life…or, at least, the life I thought I had.

    The marriage vows we made before God, family and friends were sacred. But my actions (or inactions, in these instances) were dictated less so by the commitment I made to my wife and more so by the commitment I made to MYSELF about the type of person I wanted to be and the type of life I wanted to lead.

  • When you get bit by a rattlesnake your fist question should not be ” where can I find another rattlesnake.”

  • I’m pretty sure that just about anyone in a relationship has opportunities to cheat. Doesn’t mean act on them. Just like being left alone in a store or someone’s house. We could rip them off but that’s wrong and usually would never occur to us to do it! LOL. I had plenty of chances. Playing golf at local courses and rarely out of town. I had several very young, gorgeous cart girls proposition me. Always declined with quiet dignity and grace. LOL. Being in the car business there are so many young women coming going that want to start up a work place romance. Dealing with young sales ladies who are very aggressive and hired for their out going personalities and looks. Propositioned all the time by these ladies who were from out of town and wanted a “DATE” for the weekend. Never took ANY off them up on it. Was propositioned by a neighbor who was somewhat a friend of my XW because of our kids. NEVER told the XW. And now they’re drinking buddies who hot tub together and have make out sessions with each other and each others GUYS!! OMG!!! CALIGULA? I am so proud of the fact NOW that I never did cheat or even consider it. Although I admit it was flattering. Cheating is not inside me. And Id never do that and snap my fingers like THANOS and disintegrate my son’s life he had unlike his mother did.

  • Work I regarded advances as something to avoid with grace without offending and sought to avoid situations or anything that might lead to them when engaged and married. Despite being devalued at home I would never have responded because …integrity, decency, values. X used to make accusations when I went to work events or classes. I chumpily reassured what I thought was his insecurity not knowing he was speaking about his own lack of values, integrity and honor.

  • Welp. Endless propositions. Invitations to hook up in local hotels. Dick pics sent. To all of those obvious overtures, it was always a firm nope with a reminder that I am married, and sometimes an added, “WTAF, dude. You are married.” Now and then also a lecture to a youngster about how shit like this could be a career killer.

    I expect I entirely missed most subtler efforts. My DD often had to be the one to tell me that so-and-so had been flirting or staring, and this has been the case post-divorce, as well, with colleagues as the ones asking why so-and-so always stares and so forth.

    It never entered my mind, and still really doesn’t, I guess. From the point that we started seriously dating, I was simply monogamous/faithful without conscious effort because that is who I am.

    I will say that most really assertive flirtation efforts both during and after marriage have been from married men. Nopety nope, nah.

  • I never had a desire to cheat, didn’t want to be with different men. In fact, I never put out vibes that I was interested.

    For 19 years, my eyes only saw one man.

  • The business I worked for opened a second location and named me manager. We decided to have a fabulous open house and advertised in the local newspaper with my picture in the ad.

    Not one, but TWO old boyfriends looked me up. Heehee Both of them were hot, gorgeous, sexy beasts and ten years younger than me. (I must have been a cougar even in my 30’s.) Lol

    I digress. They both contacted within a week of each other after seeing my picture in the paper. BOTH totally hit on me. I told them that I was married and happy. One took the hint but the other one actually showed up at the business and it was all I could do to not freak out. I was not expecting him to walk through the door. He could still make a bulldog break a chain. But I was adamant, ‘nice to see you but no thanks. I AM married.’

    A couple of years after cheaterpants ran off with the ugly librarian, I looked old BF up on Facebook and he had gotten married. Should cheated indeed.

  • I’ll make this simple – FUCK NO. I was married and in my book, fidelity is a part of the deal. I held up my end of the bargain.I had no interest and I have no idea if I was hit on or not, that was not my business. Even in Derby, I had no knowledge if someone else was interested in me, that was not why I was there. FUCK NO.

  • Choosing not to cheat isn’t just about honoring and respecting your partner, but is just as much about respecting yourself.

    I gave my word, I made a vow. Keeping it was demonstrating to me that I am who I say I am. A vow isn’t something you only keep when convenient.

    I didn’t cheat because I wouldn’t do that to ME.

    • A million percent agree!! I truly believe that my STBX disrespected himself way before and way more than he disrespected me. I truly feel that is why we couldn’t work it out. I refused to be blameshifted for the actual affair and he couldn’t stand it!

  • The one that stands out–I was flying home from a trip and an absolutely stunning woman sat down next to me on the plane. We were both traveling to LA. I was going home to my wife and she was going to a–wait for it–Hustler photo shoot! And based on the way she looked, she wasn’t lying. And she asked if I would spend the night with her at a four-star hotel. Oh boy was I tempted, but said I had to get home.

    I can still see her in that mini-skirt walking away from me in LAX…

  • I co led an intensive at a long retreat with a lovely man, recently widowed. We both fell a bit in love with each other, but acting on that would not be magical and romantic, it would be cheap and sordid, which we named and set up hard boundaries around our remaining time together. I came home to the wonderful trusting man I’m married to with a clean conscience. P.S. Hubs and crush met a few years later and by then, the crush had faded so we’ve been able to be family friends – cheaters don’t get to do that.

  • He talked me into swinging with one of the girls I caught him out with. What a Chump. It didn’t last long as I got pregnant shortly after (angry make up sex worked after 3 years of trying). He carried on for 3 years with the other girl I caught him with (a friend of mine) while the kids kept me busy. A wedding while that went on as well. Master at future faking.

    Then he talked me into it again but this time with a guy (I’d clocked his triangulations with women involved so wasn’t into that). He made out it was all for me. Turns out no. He was a front for us having an open relationship (we didn’t). It was on very strict terms (husband always there with dumb young guy and me, and husband holding all the puppet strings). The group of friends he would show this threesome off to were actually the group of friends of his new schmoopie (number two had ditched him when she found out about the wedding). So it was just an act for him to get away with his next long term relationship while with me (3rd long term 3 year or more affair I know of in our 15 years together and many many short Trolly dolly too fat to fly (she now houses exchange students for a feeble crust). #cattleclass

    She did me a massive favour though. Was able to get him out as the trickle truths came out over the last year. Turns out he’d lined up another main supply and kept #cattleclass on the side after we split. Main supply then contacted me to connect some dots that weren’t adding up, and #cattleclass got a surprise when she turned up to his place with them both wearing towels. Now she’s main supply. Finally 🤦‍♀️ After 4 years on the side 🤷‍♀️ Lucky girl 😂😂

    And guess what. He’s now talked her into swinging (I still had swinging site password at this point just a few weeks ago). Not with girls (she’s tired of the triangles too now I guess) but with bicurious and bisexual guys (my ex an Autogynephile woman hater who clearly holds a lot of shame about his closeted gayness). I tell ya when I discovered that, alongside my new friend his other main supply – oh how we laugh at each of our versions of his lies and same lying stories, dots connected – my closure came along like a tsunami.

    Boy is it good not to be coerced into sex with a cheater, a liar, a closet homosexual (no issue with the gay part but being ashamed and closeted about it is sad and terribly unhealthy), or coerced into sex with strangers just so I can pick me dance.

    Triangle free and loving it.

  • My ex went fishing by posting an ad on Craigslist. The slimy OW (who gets off on gang bangs and sleeping with whoever) bit.

    Meanwhile I’ve had a half dozen male friends (thru work and church mostly) and have never done anything. In fact, I was going to meet up with a male friend for lunch when I was in his city for a conference (my husband knew, his wife knows about me too) and we chose not to. Didn’t even want to even THINK about it… so, we did not.

    At the time, my then husband was living with the OW. It would have been nice revenge, but I’m just not that person.

  • “Missed opportunities”, yeah I had men crush on me in the workplace over the years. It happens to everyone.

    It wasn’t my looks, I was cute at best. But I am friendly and funny and kind; some men mistake that for something else, at first.

    But there was absolutely no reciprocal feelings on my part, and I made sure these men knew it. Zero encouragement from me. They would soon get the hint and were able to keep everything professional.

    Here’s how I explained the difference between my faithfulness and his serial cheating:

    I grab a piece of fabulous gourmet chocolate, but I have to sneak around to eat it. Because of the deception involved, the delicious piece of chocolate would taste like sawdust in my mouth.

    Cheater could grab a piece of cheap, waxy chocolate, and would also sneak around to eat it. To him, the terrible chocolate would taste like the finest chocolate made, precisely BECAUSE he had to deceive in order to eat it.

  • I love this thread! It’s been my Fantasy Thread for ages, and here it is – like Christmas all over again!

    I knew it. I knew that if we pooled the experience of the Hive Mind, we would generate some pretty interesting anecdotal evidence that cheating ISN’T one of the laws of thermodynamics.

    Nor is it an accident. No one just trips and collides with someone else’s genitals. It takes forethought, strategy and planning. Choices, in fact.

    Nor is it sudden like a lightning strike, so that you don’t have time to duck. It starts in your head, and eventually spreads to your body – if you let it.

    Nor is it something that happens only to the Beautiful and Special. Turns out that cheating is something anyone can do – if they want to.

    Four of my exes cheated on me, to varying degrees. I also got hit on any number of times by married guys, on and off dating sites when I was single – none of whom I dated.

    But I have had crushes, even when I was with someone. With my non-existent picker, I was often lonely in my relationships (especially when being cheated on). I found the attention and flirting from others really flattering. I am always warning other Chumps about medicating with people because I have done it myself!

    But the solution to these problems is to 1) be single, and 2) get help. Not to cheat – and not even to keep chasing a succession of mental rainbows and illusiory perfect loves that will somehow free me from dud relationships in real life. This stuff needs therapy and self-work, not yet another relationship.

    Since I have been single and Of A Certain Age, I discovered I’m seen as an easy target by married men in my age group – the assumption is that I’m sexually active with no strings attached, and/or will be desperate and not too fussy.

    I am not sexually active, not desperate, and I am also sufficiently fussy to give these guys a wide berth.

    So the Big Freeze works well – bland honesty, zero vibes, and a temperature drop when they cross the line. Or the thing where they say something suggestive and you get them to repeat it several times because you can’t hear them properly. Or, you just ‘don’t understand it’ and tell them it’s gone right over your head.

    THEY HATE THIS, and it’s really effective in the workplace because you’re not being unpleasant or potentially breaching any HR stuff yourself.

    Thank you thank you thank you Tracy for this best Friday Funnies in ages.

    • Single (no wedding ring in sight-maybe I should start wearing one to fend off creeps ?), of a certain age, attractive, easy target by married men in my age group, assumptions abound. THIS !

  • One that comes to mind is many years ago when I was a young mum – an acquaintance dropped by with some paperwork and he and STBX shared some wine then got into the whisky so I ended up driving the visitor home (leaving his car at ours for the night). On the way, he put his hand on my bare thigh (summertime, I was in shorts). When told to remove it, he asked if he could put it on my breast (?!?!). Nope. Wanted a kiss to get out of the car – I kissed my hand and blew it to him, refused his offer to come in for a drink and zipped off home. Husband noticed something was amiss when I got home and asked if the other guy had tried anything on me. Honestly, I was stunned – I never felt in danger from him, but thought that he was a bit of a creep to try that on with me. Husband was also not impressed.

    Some time later, STBX brought up women approaching him when he was on weekend conferences (I was home with our child during a few of them) – I wonder if I was supposed to be really impressed by his resistance to this? I just thought that is how married people behave.

    And then, later in our lives together, he indulged in an emotional then physical exit affair as he ended our marriage with a woman who was actively flattering and pursuing him. Although shattering to me at the time, I can now find amusement that the fellow who condemned other folk who cheated, was caught out himself (small town – can’t believe they were so stupid to think things wouldn’t be found out). Karma has been kind to me – his life is less calm than mine.

  • Two of the chances that I had to cheat were with actors. Both British. One is a minor actor who only really had one role in a genre show. He had a GF, and he was not subtle in his intentions. I ran from him and never spoke him again.

    The 2nd is a bit more well known, people might not know his name, but, if I said his character, a lot of people would know him. He was actually sweet, was single, and when he asked about getting together for dinner, I told him that I was married and he was a super gentlemen and backed off.

    The first situation happened while we were still happily married. The second happened after things started to get rocky. I wasn’t happy, and I was considering divorce. YET, I still did NOT cheat. I’m ngl the second one was hard to walk away from, but I did. On a side note, he met someone right after and they’ve stayed together and have a daughter together. He was so sweet, and I was impressed that he accepted that I was in relationship, so I’ve always wished him happiness.

  • Not doing this Friday challenge because it would take too long to list all the opportunities I turned down. 😎

  • I was talking to a woman at the gym. We saw each other every day. She did not wear a wedding ring or band. During our third lengthy conversation she somehow managed to mention her husband. I said I did not realize she was married. She asked me what difference that made when two people make a connection. I told her it made a huge difference to me and I thought the lack of a wedding ring or band was false advertising. Normally, women talk about their kids and spouses within minutes of a conversation. I was really caught off-guard. I guess I need to ask at the beginning now. Lesson learned. I’ve asked three single women out at this health club on different occassions and the first question they asked me was “are you married?” Sort of tells me everything I need to know about the 50+ year old people I exercise with in the mornings.

  • Hi- I don’t know what to say. I’ve been chumped. I’ve gone through so many stages of grief and bewilderment. Thank goodness I’m in the fuck you stage. I’ve been sick for a number of years. I used to handle our household finances. My soon to be ex, took care of everything while I was sick. We made a number of good financial decisions together such as buying property during this difficult time. Thank goodness I’m finally starting to feel better. Shortly before a major decade birthday my husband announced that “ILYBINILWY”. I was so thrilled to have made it to this birthday because I really thought I wouldn’t make it to this birthday. My STBE told me to celebrate my birthday with other people. He had been withdrawing for a number of months but also became obsessed with his looks. He moved into a fancy apartment that we couldn’t afford. He took barely anything. He left with all the financial information. I kept on asking for more information. I’d see him and he was so cold. He’s changed into a different person. Obsessed with exercising. I had to serve him with divorce papers. He racked up an enormous amount of debt in a short amount of time. He’s gone on vacations and out to dinner all the time. He’s bought a lot of equipment for a new sports hobby. He’s never been athletic.
    We’re now going through divorce. The discovery process has been painful. The financial betrayal is worse than the thought of another person. He’s blown up both our financial lives. This is in contrast to living our lives financially responsible. This money could also help me get to remission and a financial stronghold.
    What a jerk.
    I’m saddened that I may never talk to him again. I’ve been NC for the most part since he moved out.
    I’m starting to reclaim my life.
    The house will need to be sold so I’m starting to sort everything. I have all the photos and items from our shared history.
    Take care of yourselves chumps!!!

    • Bluebell, I’m so sorry your STBX did this to you, especially when you were sick. 🙁 I’m not sure how long you’ve been reading CL and CN, but a lot of chumps here had the same thing happen to them when they were sick. If you haven’t already, read as much of CL’s old posts and the comments from CN. It helped me tremendously. Big (((HUGS))) to you. Hang in there, you will get through this.

  • Last fall, my grandmother and I were talking about my wife’s affair and wondering in disbelief how she could have done something so terrible just five months after we welcomed our first child. I said that it would have made more sense if I had done the cheating since I’m the non-birth mom. Grandma looked at me and said, “Honey, I’m so glad it wasn’t you.”

    I’ll never forget that moment with her. All at once, in her own kind-natured way, she expressed her disgust with my soon to be ex (whom she adored up until the discovery of the affair) and her relief that I hadn’t been the one to commit the act that would have brought shame on myself and my family.

  • Let’s see…
    There was that beautiful woman that kept talking me up at the pub in Scotland.
    There was that friend’s wife that kept texting me. I quit returning her texts in order to avoid any semblance of encouraging her.
    There was that married woman at work that kept talking to me about her thong. Eww.
    There was the nanny for my kids that kept dressing suggestively and trying to get my attention.
    I’m sure there were others. Strange. I really didn’t just fall into an affair with any of them.

  • I find it interesting in these threads that the cheaters used the tiniest flirtation or innocent email to throw in chumps’ faces! I had zero incidents like that, so when I got the full Blame for Everything, it was batshit wild, every flaw of my being was put in a list. But I KNOW had I shared that a man hit on me or whatever, that would have been the REASON for him to cheat. And, like many posters above, you do learn when you might be emailing a friend a lot, thinking about them, and feel it is just not right. So then you stop. It’s not hard, you catch yourself. Thing is, I’m not disordered so I don’t need kibbles. I don’t need a guy on the side making me feel good about myself when I’m married. I didn’t cheat because I don’t need/want triangulation in my life. Mr. Cheater did though. I never understood the texting with co-worker or ex gf in another state. It bothered me and I couldn’t figure out why, oh yes, gaslighting!

  • My friend and I went on a day trip to Turin market yesterday. We do this every year as we love it but it’s a long bus ride so we had ages to talk (and no problem filling the void!!!). We bought up the subject of (formerly) mutual friends. We had both worked with the wife and her husband worked with mine. One time they came over to dinner and the husband was pretty tanked, but not embarrassingly so. I went into the kitchen to check on dinner and he followed me and made a pass at me. I was not the slightest bit interested in him and quietly put him in his place. When I walked back into the living room my ex and his wife sat there stony faced with fury. Afterwards the ex told me he had been “scared to walk into the kitchen in case he found us kissing” (as if!!! – projection much!!!) and his wife barely talked to me again and we worked in the same unit. She just basically became a nasty bitch to me so that friendship died a death. BUT, it was only recently that I connected this event to the loss of that friendship. My ex put the blame on me that HER husband came on to me (and apparently he does this to other women too when he’s been drinking) and she dropped me like a sack of spuds! And this from a woman whose husband was a dickhead and my husband the violent cheat! Talk about DARVO!

  • Ha I’ll tell the same story I told Fiddleplayer when he tried to give me the whole “it’s not my fault I’m cute and found someone” 🙄🙄

    I had gotten a job 6 weeks before Dday. I had lost a significant amount of weight and had never looked/felt better. Helped fiddleplayer lose weight too. Oh the irony! Anyways Dday happened and I go for 10 days not even speaking to fiddleplayer right afterwards.

    During that time I made some chocolate covered strawberries and took them to work, something I always enjoyed doing for my family and friends when strawberries are on sale. And one of my male coworkers (basically all were male, there was like 2-3 other women on my shift, we worked at a dairy plant) propositioned me that we could “work something out in exchange for some more”

    Lord I will tell you what. There was 2 other guys in the room when he said that. I was weak and in need of a man’s touch, he was cute and ughh…that just isn’t me. I just walked out of the room and he basically hated me after that. Well for another 2 months until he turned on the charm channel again (it’s like I can’t unsee it now!)

    When I emailed the response to his “it’s not my fault I found someone” I added in that since technically in his eyes we “weren’t together” anymore that I’d actually would have been in the clear to fuck this guy anyways right?

    AND I STILL DIDN’T! I really really hate my STBX lately.

    I did throw in a little comment at the end. Told him I can see why it was so easy for her to ensnare him. Like shooting fish in a barrel! Ugh I am really in the anger/hate stage right now.

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